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‘I felt safe’, blind man who crashed car tells court room

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'I felt safe', blind man who crashed car tells court room
'I felt safe', blind man who crashed car tells court room

‘I felt safe’, blind man who crashed car tells court room

Blind Man Tells Court He Felt Safe Driving Car That Crashed

Paul Keatings may have fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams, but it wound up getting him arrested and having to appear in court in Scotland.

42-year old Keatings is legally blind, but he was able to get behind the wheel of an expensive sports car and drive it for almost a mile before crashing the Subaru vehicle into a barrier at the side of the road.

One eyewitness claimed that Keatings almost knocked down a pedestrian in the street during his wild ride. He was charged with dangerous driving due to blindness and recently had to answer for his behavior in court.

Keatings told court officials that he was able to obtain a provisional license while still a younger man and his blindness had not yet progressed, and that he felt safe handling the vehicle after the friend he was riding with offered him a chance to steer the car.

Keatings began going blind at 28 because of a hereditary condition called Leber’s disease.

He said: “Within a month, I’d almost completely lost my sight.

“I can still make out the outlines of shadows from the side though.”

He told officials he kept both hands on the steering wheel and proceeded down the road very slowly, with his friend also keeping one of his hands on the wheel. Keatings, who must use a white cane in order to walk now because he can only see shadows, admitted that driving was a silly thing for him to attempt.

Keatings said in court earlier this week: “Driving has been a lifelong dream. When my friend suggested I give it a try I jumped at the chance.

“He drives a Subaru, the same model as Colin McRae’s.

“He had one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the handbrake. I had both hands on the wheel.

“I felt safe enough because I was going slow and my friend had his hand on the wheel and was telling me where to go.

“But the next thing I knew, we had hit a huge rock.

“I was shaken up and glad no one had been hurt.

“I know it was a really silly thing to do and I’m sorry for what I’ve done.

“I’m really embarrassed about the whole thing.”

Lanark sheriff Nikola Stewart said: “I need to know what on earth caused these people to behave in this utterly ridiculous manner.

“It was an utterly lethal thing to do. He couldn’t steer and he couldn’t brake.”

Keatings and his friend Brian Gillon, 33, are now awaiting sentence over the stunt at the New Lanark world heritage site in May.

On The Web:

I felt safe, blind man who crashed car tells court
http://www.scotsman.com/news/odd/i-felt-safe-blind-man-who-crashed-car-tells-court-1-3046475

Blind man who can ‘only make out shadows’ took sports car out for a spin before crashing into rock, court hears
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/blind-man-found-guilty-dangerous-2169652

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