US horror crash man had fled Northern Ireland over drink case

A driving “menace” accused of causing a high-speed horror smash in Pennsylvania had fled Northern Ireland while awaiting sentencing for a drunken 114mph police chase. ungiven man Shane Brolly (24) was arrested at the scene of a head-on crash in the United States three weeks ago after a local hero pulled four screaming teenage girls from their burning Mazda. Police found opened beer cans “strewn” across the interior of Brolly’s GMC pick-up truck and say he admitted he had been drinking. Brolly and his passenger Eoin ‘Spud’ Quinn, from Dungannon, were rushed to hospital along with the four high school students after the crash in late March.

Now Sunday Life can reveal Brolly had fled Northern Ireland while awaiting sentencing for another drink driving offence, this time a boozed-up 114mph police chase from near Coleraine towards Dungiven in June 2019. US police say he had been living in Philadelphia, PA on an expired work visa and was not licensed to drive in the state.

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ACCUSED: Shane Brolly

ACCUSED: Shane Brolly

Joiner Brolly pleaded guilty at Coleraine Magistrates Court in September 2019 to a string of offences including dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol. The court heard he was only snared by cops after they were forced to deploy a stinger device following a 16-mile blue-lamp chase along dark country roads.

He then tried to hide from the PSNI by lying face down in a field only to be rumbled by a police helicopter. Brolly initially refused to give a preliminary breath sample but a later sample showed a reading of 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath — the legal limit is 35mcgs. The court was told the vehicle belonged to the defendant’s father, who had not given him permission to take the car.

District Judge Peter King imposed an interim driving ban as he adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report before telling Brolly: “You are clearly a menace to road users.” However, Brolly failed to attend the sentencing hearing in October 2019 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Despite being on the run in the US for his drink-driving offences in Northern Ireland, Brolly again caused havoc whilst drunk behind the wheel in late March when he and five others were lucky to escape alive from a horrific crash.

According to prosecutors in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he was driving his pick-up on the Bridgetown Pike in Northampton Township on Saturday, March 27, when it crossed into oncoming traffic while attempting to overtake. His truck smashed into a Mazda CX5 carrying four teenage girls, all of whom sustained serious injuries with one girl being airlifted to hospital for emergency treatment. According to police documents published on the Bucks County District Attorney’s website, Brolly admitted to driving the truck, drinking earlier in the day and officers could smell alcohol on him.

A sworn affidavit by an officer says: “Shane Brolly identified himself as the operator of the 2013 GMC and did admit to consuming alcoholic beverages throughout the day on March 27 prior to driving which resulted in this crash. “During the on-scene investigation police observed two cases of alcoholic beverage and also numerous opened and unopened cans strewn about the interior.” Brolly was later charged at his hospital bed on five counts each of aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle, all of which are felonies (serious crimes), and eight counts of recklessly endangering another person.

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US horror crash man had fled Northern Ireland over drink case

His police mugshot taken in his hospital bed

His police mugshot taken in his hospital bed

Bucks County district attorney Matt Weintraub slammed Brolly’s driving and said he was in the United States on an expired work visa.

He said: “He was completely reckless the way he was driving that night, he has a UK driver’s licence so he is not properly licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. He shouldn’t have been driving at all.” Brolly was arraigned in his hospital bed “because of the sheer recklessness, the malice, he demonstrated passing on the left-hand side at a high rate of speed, endangering everyone around him”, Weintraub added.

Magisterial District Judge Daniel Finello set his bail at £10million with a 10 per cent payment of £1m required for his release.

Following the incident tributes were paid to Brolly’s passenger, GAA man Eoin Quinn, on Facebook with former team-mates and family friends wishing him a speedy recovery.