Man drove wrong way up dual carriageway with lights off

October 29, 2021

A man who drove the wrong way up a dual carriageway with his lights off has pleaded guilty to putting the lives of Gardai in danger during a 160kph pursuit in Co Donegal.

Jason Orr, aged 27, was already wanted by Gardai as there was a bench warrant out for his arrest for other matters.

On the night of March 24th, 2018, Gardai received reports of a hit-and-run to a car at Oldtown in Letterkenny and witnesses gave Gardai a description of a red Volkswagen Passat being involved.

Later that night Gardai received reports of a car driving dangerously on the Lifford to Letterkenny road.

The suspect car was spotted in the Hawthorn Heights area by Gardai and they noticed it was Orr riving but he took off.

Other Gardai were alerted and Orr sped off in the direction of Oldtown reaching speeds of 100kph in a 50kph zone forcing cars to pull in out of its way as Orr crossed onto the wrong side of the road.

Gardai said there was no sign of the car slowing down and it was traveling so fast it was swaying from side to side as it headed towards the townland of Lismonaghan.

Garda Paul Smith told how Gardai then tried to pull up alongside the driver to get him to stop but he swerved right in a attempt to ram them off the road.

The driver continued at speed and narrowly missed hitting a telegraph pole then drove onto the main Letterkenny to Ballybofey Road and narrowly missed hitting another marked patrol car.

Orr then drove down Lurgybrack at 160kph in a 100kph zone before driving the wrong way around the Dry Arch Roundabout and then turning off his car lights before driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway.

Gardai eventually lost sight of the speeding car but then spotted Orr talking on his phone outside a house at Trimreagh before he ran into a house.

He was eventually arrested, taken to Letterkenny Garda station and found to be over the drink-driving limit when breathalysed. 

Barrister for Orr, of Glenwood Park, Letterkenny, Ms Fiona Crawford said her client admitted the charges and was not shirking away from anything and noted his early guilty plea.

Judge John Aylmer adjourned the case until next week to allow for further Garda evidence.