Girl withdraws High Court damages case over go kart crash

Kelsie Crawford told there was insufficient evidence to pursue claim against motorist

Mr Justice Michael Hanna told Kelsie Crawford and her mother it was a wise decision to withdraw the case. Photograph: Alan Betson

Mr Justice Michael Hanna told Kelsie Crawford and her mother it was a wise decision to withdraw the case. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A girl who sued a car driver after she was knocked off a go kart in a Dublin housing estate has withdrawn her claim at the High Court.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna told Kelsie Crawford and her mother it was a wise decision to withdraw the case.

He told them, if the evidence was not there, it was not there.

The judge added he was sorry he could not give them “a happier Christmas”.

Ms Crawford (15), Cherry Orchard Crescent, Ballyfermot, had, through her mother Vicky Doolin Crawford, sued Elizabeth Malone, Clogherinkoe, Co Kildare over the incident at Lough Conn Drive, Ballyfermot, on November 3rd, 2015.

It was claimed Ms Malone’s car hit the rear of the go kart in which Kelsie, then aged 10, was travelling and she was flung into the air. It was further claimed there was failure to stop, slow down, swerve or in any way control or manage the vehicle so as to avoid the collision.

A full defence was filed and Ms Malone contended the go kart came at speed from behind a wall and a parked car and it was an unfortunate incident.

Unconscious

Opening the case, Gerard Tynan SC, for Ms Crawford, said she had been playing at a friend’s house .

He said she was knocked unconscious but a CT scan carried out later was normal. A number of her ribs and her collarabone were broken. She later suffered headaches after the incident, of which she had no memory.

Counsel said his side would argue there was no reason the driver could not have seen the child.

Witness Eric Doyle said Ms Crawford was propelled from the go kart. He said there was no reason why the driver could not have seen the children on the road.

Micheál Ó Scanaill SC, for Ms Malone, put it to Mr Doyle there were cars parked on both sides of the street. Counsel said the driver would say there were cars parked on both sides of the road.

When he asked Mr Doyle if she was wrong, the witness said she was.

Counsel put it to the witness that a garda who came on the scene recalled there were cars parked on both sides of the road.

Mr Doyle replied the cars could have come after the incident happened and said he had not seen any cars on the road.

Asked about the matter by the judge, Mr Doyle said he was not paying attention to cars parked on the road.

Mr Doyle agreed with Mr Ó Scanaill that it was likely he was mistaken on the matter and he agreed the presence of cars on the road was significant.

Counsel said the driver would say the go kart came from behind a wall and a parked car at speed. Mr Doyle agreed the go kart drew his attention and he did not expect it . He said he heard “the brakes stopping.”

Counsel put to him, if the driver was driving at speed, she would not have been able to stop the car. Mr Doyle said he did not know.

Asked why he had not told gardaí he was a witness to the accident, Mr Doyle said he never thought of it.