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Learner driver on trial for causing serious injuries to cyclist was driving unaccompanied, court hears

A woman has gone on trial accused of causing serious injuries to a cyclist while driving unaccompanied as a learner driver.

aulina Galantkiewicz (34) with an address of Belmount Park, Raheny, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Thames Aline Taveres at Oak Road, Clondalkin, on June 1, 2018.

In his opening speech to the jury, John Byrne BL, prosecuting, said that Ms Galantkiewicz pleaded guilty to careless driving causing serious bodily injury, but that this plea of guilty is not acceptable to the State so she now stands trial before them on the more serious charge.

Counsel told the jury it would hear evidence that Ms Galantkiewicz was a learner driver at the time of the incident.

Mr Byrne said she had been attending for a job interview before the incident and although she had been accompanied by a fully qualified driver to the interview, she was unaccompanied at the time of the collision.

Counsel said the jury would hear that Ms Taveres was returning home from work that afternoon around 3.25pm. She cycled home but was not wearing either a helmet or a high-visibility jacket. It was raining at the time.

Mr Byrne said Ms Galantkiewicz was approaching a T-junction at the same time as Ms Taveres was cycling into the junction.

He said the jury would hear evidence that Ms Galantkiewicz was turning left and she breaked for a period at the stop sign against her, but failed to bring her vehicle to a complete halt.

There was a collision between her vehicle and Ms Taveres’ bike, which caused the cyclist to “travel towards the front” of the car where the complainant was struck and knocked from her bike.

Counsel said the jury would hear that the car then drove over Ms Taveres before it came to a stop. The complainant was taken to Tallaght Hospital where she was treated for serious injuries.

Mr Byrne said Ms Galantkiewicz remained at the scene and spoke to gardaí. She admitted she was the driver of the vehicle and she passed a road side breathalyser test. Both the bike and car were later found to be in good working order.

Counsel told the jury there was no independent witnesses to the incident, but gardaí secured CCTV footage which “shows the collision from different angles”.

Mr Byrne told the jury it was the State’s case that Ms Galantkiewicz failed to bring her car to a stop at the junction, failed to give a proper look out, failed to bring her car to an immediate halt after the initial collision and she continued to drive which led to the serious injuries caused to Ms Taveres.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.

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