A young man and his girlfriend agreed to give their relationship another go just minutes before she was killed in a horrific car crash.

Tragic Kym Harley died close to her home in Ballybofey, Co Donegal on October 14th, 2014.

Her former boyfriend Gary O’Donnell today went on trial charged with dangerous driving causing the death of Ms Harley, who had just turned 19 years when she died.

She was a daughter of well-known local Fine Gael county councillor and publican Martin Harley and his wife Denise.

Mr O’Donnell, now aged 22 and from Steeple View, Dunwiley, Stranorlar, has pleaded not guilty after appearing before Letterkenny Circuit Court.

He claims that on the night he swerved to avoid two dogs, a black labrador and a beagle, and then lost control of his Nissan Almera car at around 4.15am at Dreenan, Ballybofey.

The court heard that the car struck a ditch and then flipped on its roof before it slid for a distance.

A video of the scene and pictures were played and handed into the court.

In his statement to Gardai, Mr O’Donnell said he had reached over to Kym but she was not in the car.

He got out of the car, could not find Kym near the ditch but eventually found her trapped under the bonnet of the car.

He said he knew she was dead and ran up to some nearby houses and began banging on doors to get some help.

A local doctor Padraic Mitchell was one of those on the scene quickly and he said that Mr O’Donnell was very agitated and was in a distressed condition and kept saying that Ms Harley was dead.

Another local woman told how she brought rosary beads and holy water to the scene of the crash.

Mr O’Donnell revealed in his statement how himself and Kym had been dating for a year and a half but had broken up for two weeks before the tragedy.

On the night before the accident they had been together and had enjoyed a Chinese takeaway in her house before he left and returned home to his own house but Kym said she wanted to see him later.

At 2am the following morning he texted her and she called him around 3am and he collected her and they drove to a place called Trusk Lough where they chatted and apologised to eachother for all that had gone on in the past.

Mr O’Donnell then said they had agreed to give their relationship another try.

Garda Damian Mulkearns told the court that he had examined the 2003 Nissan Almera car being driven by O’Donnell on the night.

He said it upon inspection that the car was in generally good condition.

Garda Sinead Kelly also interviewed Mr O’Donnell in relation to the crash.

She put it to him that that forensic investigators had calculated that the fastest speed which the bend could be taken safely at was 75.3kph or 46.7mph.

Mr O’Donnell replied that he did not think he as driving fast on the road which was governed by a 30mph speed limit.

He added that he did not think he was driving hard or erratically saying that it was “all a blur.”

“I honesty don’t think I was driving hard. I might have broken 30mph but I dont think I was doing serious speed,” he said.

The case continues tomorrow.


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