Sneeze caused crash into hair salon - court hears

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A 20-year-old man who sneezed while he was driving crashed into a Limavady hair salon, resulting in damage of £37,000, a court heard this week.

Appearing at Limavady Magistrates Court on Wednesday was Dermot O’Hara with an address at 193 Seacoast Road, Limavady.

The court heard on March 30 at 11.05pm police were called to a hair salon on Linenhall Street to a report of a vehicle having crashed in to it.

Several quotes were obtained for the damage, and the cheapest was £37,000, the court heard.

During interview, O’Hara stated he was at the traffic lights and they went green. As he drove off he sneezed, closed his eyes and pulled down on the steering wheel, which caused him to crash into the hair salon, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Peter Jack said O’Hara, who was driving his father’s vehicle, had been stopped at the traffic lights, it wasn’t a case of him swinging round at speed. Mr. Jack said the business was able to carry on because it had a back entrance.

Deputy District Judge Broderick told O’Hara he was “very concerned” about his level of experience. He said it was fortunate there was no one injured or more damage caused and questioned why he simply didn’t stop.

For driving without due care and attention, the Judge endorsed six penalty points on O’Hara’s licence and fined him £300.

Judge Broderick added: “You’re very much in a last chance saloon situation...In this case I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt.”