Fatal collision could have been averted if pedestrian had not sped up – Garda

Garda told ombudsman investigator he assessed situation and immediately applied brakes

 Garda Warren Farrell: pleaded not guilty. Photograph: Collins Courts

Garda Warren Farrell: pleaded not guilty. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A garda charged with causing the death of a pedestrian told a Garda Ombudsman investigator that the fatal collision could have been avoided if the woman had not sped up her walking.

Warren Farrell (35), a garda serving in Clondalkin, Co Dublin, was on duty as the driver of a marked patrol car that was responding to a panic button call at a Topaz garage, when the car struck Elizabeth Core.

Garda Farrell has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mrs Core at Fonthill Road South, Dublin, on August 28th, 2014.

On day four of the trial, James Butler, an investigations officer with the Garda Ombudsman, told the court that he received a statement from the defendant on September 30th, 2014.

Garda Farrell stated that the patrol car siren was deactivated for only a few seconds when he and his passenger Garda Declan Bambrick requested information about the incident over the car radio. He said the siren was reactivated.

Garda Farrell said that he saw Mrs Core beginning to cross the road on the other side. He said that he assessed the situation and was satisfied that she would be alerted by the patrol car’s flashing blue lights and sirens.

He said she continued to walk across and had not looked in the direction of the car. He said he was surprised she didn’t turn back. The garda said that she did not seem to be reacting to the car’s flashing blue lights or sirens.

Garda Farrell said he assessed the situation and immediately applied brakes. He said he had to take evasive action as she was not reacting as expected. He said he entered the bus lane to avoid hitting her, but to his surprise she walked even faster into the lane.

He said he attempted to mount the car onto the footpath on his left but was unable to do so and the left tyre burst.

The front right of the car hit Mrs Core and she was pushed onto the front windscreen. He said he and Garda Bambrick deactivated the siren and got out of the car.

Garda Farrell stated that he was satisfied that if Mrs Core had stopped as he had anticipated, the collision would not have occurred and if she had not sped up her walking, a collision could have been avoided.

He said, “Elizabeth Core’s actions were completely unexpected and I cannot explain it.”

The trial continues.