A 59-YEAR-OLD man who crashed his pick-up truck into another vehicle when he pulled out on to Boa Island Road blamed a steamed-up window for the collision, Fermanagh Magistrates Court has heard.

Gerard Smith, of The Commons, Belleek, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Boa Island Road, Belleek, on November 11, 2017.

The court heard that, at 10am on November 11 last year, police were tasked to a two-vehicle road traffic collision involving the defendant’s Isuzu pick-up truck and a Nissan Qashqai.

The driver of the other vehicle sustained a fractured wrist, while a passenger suffered a broken sternum.

During interview, Smith made a full admission to the offence. He told officers that he drove out on to the main road without checking what was coming because his window had been steamed up.

Defending solicitor, Niall Bogue, told the court that his client had been driving for around 40 years and this had been the first road traffic collision he was involved in.

The solicitor said that it had been an “upsetting experience” for Smith.

In mitigation, Mr. Bogue said that the defendant had been “quite candid” in how he had dealt with the offence.

He said that Smith, a farmer by trade, had been coming from a field of cattle and going to another job when he had pulled out in front of the other vehicle.

The solicitor said that his client accepted that there had been a “momentary lapse in concentration”, before adding that Smith had met the matter head-on.

He added that any loss sustained by the injured party had been dealt with by the defendant’s insurance company.

District judge, Nigel Broderick, observed that this case was a “salutary lesson” for the defendant and other drivers.

“All windows should be cleared before driving,” the judge said.

Mr. Broderick said that, if the defendant had done that, he would have seen the other vehicle.

Taking into account that the offence had been aggravated by the injuries sustained by the occupants of the other vehicle, the judge imposed a £400 fine, a £15 offender levy and nine penalty points on his licence.