A Laois man pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury.
A breakdown recovery driver was catapulted onto the fast lane of the M3 motorway in Co Meath when he was struck by an articulated truck five years ago Trim Circuit Court heard today.
The victim later had to have both legs amputated and still remains wheelchair bound as he requires ongoing surgery to his arms before he can have artificial limbs fitted.
Martin Giles (39) of Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury to Colm Eogan at Berrillstown Dunshaughlin on 12th July 2017.
The court heard the defendant was travelling towards Cavan that night when his truck struck the victim who was winching a broken down car onto his flatbed recovery truck which was parked on the hard shoulder of the northbound lane between junctions 6 and 7 of the M3.
A garda told prosecutor Carl Hanahoe BL that Mr Eogan was wearing a high vis jacket and his vehicle had its flashing lights on.
In a victim impact statement Colm Eogan said he was standing on the back of his truck when he heard a bang followed by darkness and lights and then he found himself lying on the fast lane of the motorway unable to move.
'I thought Jesus what was happening- would I ever see my family again', he said.
The court heard he managed to crawl under his truck and phone his boss.
The 49 year old father of two said the pain was horrific and he thought he was going to die on the way to hospital and would never his partner and children again.
He added that because of his injuries his life now had been turned into a living nightmare.
Mr Eogan's partner Jacinta said what happened that day had torn their 'perfect little family apart' .
'All the little things we took for granted we can no longer do. Everywhere we go has to be wheelchair friendly. Both kids say they'd like to give Daddy their legs for a day', she said.
A defence barrister told Judge Terence O'Sullivan his client had made a momentary lapse on the night and the defendant's mother Carol Giles pleaded for leniency and mercy for her son.
' He can't cope knowing that this man is the way he is because of this accident' , she said.
Judge O'Sullivan remarked the it had been more than a momentary lapse by the defendant.
'He absolutely should have seen the breakdown vehicle' adding that while he accepted the defendant was remorseful he had to accept responsibility.
The judge imposed a sentence of three and a half years with the final year suspended and banned Giles from driving for ten years.