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Family of RTC victim urge driver be spared jail

The family of a young man who lost his life in a car driven by his best friend have asked that he not be sent to jail. 
 
Sentencing in the case against Evan Quinn who caused the death of his best friend, Martin Strain (19)  by careless driving will take place in Letterkenny Circuit Court on Wednesday.
 
Quinn, from Meenagorey, Buncrana, had originally faced a charged of dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Strain at Tooban, Burnfoot, on August 23, 2015. However, the indictment was previously amended. 
 
Quinn is also charged with careless driving causing serious harm in the single vehicle collision on the dame date.
 
Mr Strain, from Burnfoot, was a front seat passenger in the vehicle, which was driven by Quinn. Mr Strain’s girlfriend, Kayleigh Fullerton, who was a back seat passenger, was injured in the collision, as was Quinn. 
 
The trio were travelling towards Mr Strain’s home in nearby Gortcormican after a night out when the collision occurred sometime between 4.30am and 4.45am. Letterkenny Circuit Court heard Quinn was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs on the night in question. He had been a novice driver, having only had his licence a number of months. He has not driven since the incident. 
 
Gardaí had earlier on the night in question stopped and spoken to Quinn regarding two bald rear tyres on his car.
 
The court heard there had been torrential rainfall and Quinn had failed to negotiate a bend in the road, which led to the vehicle impacting with a kerb on the front passenger side, while the rear side of the car impacted with a lamppost. The car spun violently out of control, which had caused the engine to separate from the vehicle. The car then entered a grass verge before coming to a stop. 
 
Quinn had pleaded guilty to the offences. The court heard Quinn continues to bear regret over the night in question and has survivor guilt.  Quinn’s own brother, Gavin, with whom he was very close, was killed by a drunk driver, the court was told.
 
In a victim impact statement read to the court by Mr Strain’s father, Hugh, on behalf of his family, he asked that Quinn not be given a custodial sentence. 
 
He described his son as “happy and hardworking” and said his tragic death has left a void in their lives.
 
“We have forgiven Evan Quinn. What happened was a tragedy, but we are glad to have been spared the ordeal of a trial. We know that Martin would not want Evan to be sent to jail.”
Apologising to Mr Strain’s family and to Ms Fullerton, Quinn, who is still in contact with Mr Strain’s family, said: I’m so sorry.” 
 
Judge John Aylmer said he would not pass sentence until Wednesday, allowing him time to examine a number of reports. 
 
 
 

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