Northern Ireland news

Omagh bomb survivor found not guilty of killing man by dangerous driving

Omagh bomb survivor Gary McGillion during a service at the Memorial Gardens in Omagh last year. Picture by Liam McBurney, Press Association

A 44-YEAR-OLD man who was seriously injured in the Omagh bombing has been found not guilty of causing the death of a man by dangerous driving.

Gary Patrick McGillion, from Crocknacor Road in Omagh, Co Tyrone, was acquitted at Derry Crown Court yesterday.

He admitted causing the death of Eugene O'Brien (44) by careless driving but denied causing death by dangerous driving.

McGillion's car hit Mr O'Brien as he walked across the Strabane Road in Newtownstewart on the evening of October 24 2016.

Mr O'Brien, who had known McGillion since they were children, died in hospital two weeks after the crash.

McGillion and his wife Donna Marie were both seriously injured in the 1998 Omagh bombing which killed 29 people, including a woman with unborn twins.

During his police interviews, McGillion said he knew Mr O'Brien "very well".

"We grew up together, we played football together," he said.

"I know his family very well and my heart goes out to them. My heart goes out to the family, I know it's a tough time for them."

He added: "If I could turn the clock back I would."

McGillion, who did not give evidence during his trial, told police that he had only seen Mr O'Brien at the last minute and had swerved to avoid him but did not have time to brake.

Mr O'Brien was three times over the legal driving limit at the time of the crash.

McGillion said he believed he had been driving at 30mph although a forensic witness estimated the speed was between 34 and 38mph.

He and his wife wept after he was found not guilty.

He will be sentenced on March 7.

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