Children of road crash victim ask ‘Where’s Papa?’, widow says
‘If the driver slowed down just a little bit, I wouldn’t have lost my husband’ court told
Michael Jones (25), of Whitestown Drive, Dublin had pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Hong Qing Qu. Photograph: Collins Courts.
The widow of a man killed in a traffic collision held up a photo of her husband in court and shouted that she wanted the man responsible for his death to see how young he had been.
Michael Jones (25), a roofer from Whitestown Drive, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Hong Qing Qu (33) at Blanchardstown Rd. South in Dublin on November 17th, 2015.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on day nine of his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last December 19th, after deliberating for just over two and a half hours.
In her victim impact statement, which she read aloud in court, Mr Qu’s widow Li Liu said her two children always ask her “Where’s Papa?”. She said because they are too young to understand death she tells them that he is a “hero”.
“If the driver slowed down just a little bit, I wouldn’t have lost my husband and my children wouldn’t have lost their father,” she said.
She said her husband’s parents had not seen their son in ten years by the time they saw him lying dead in the hospital. She asked the court to picture an old man shouting and screaming at his son to wake up.
She said she wanted justice and “to let my children know that the law in Ireland is truthful and that the person who made the mistake has to take responsibility”.
After reading her statement she held up a photo of her husband to Jones and shouted that she wanted him to see how young Mr Qu had been at the time of his death.
Sergeant Stephen Byrne told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that Mr Qu was driving home from work when his car was struck by an Audi A3 driven by Jones. Mr Qu sustained serious injuries and was brought to James Connolly Hospital in Dublin where he was pronounced dead.
Sgt Byrne said that gardaí were able to determine that Jones had driven through a red light and had been travelling between 115km/h and 137km/h at the point of collision. The speed limit of roads in the area was 60km/h, the court heard.
Jones was taken from the scene by men who put him into a Volkswagen Passat and drove him to a hospital, where they left him lying on the ground. Jones gave a false name and said he had injured his leg in a fall.
Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, said his client wished to express his remorse for his actions.
Mr Dwyer submitted that this case fell in the medium range of offending and that a term of imprisonment of four or five years would be appropriate. Jones has no previous convictions.
Judge Patricia Ryan adjourned the matter for finalisation on January 17th