Eye witness tells of moment she saw pedestrian hit by a Garda car

‘There were no sirens, no lights’ – woman tells court she didn’t hear car coming

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

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

 

An eye witness to a fatal road collision has told a jury about the moment she saw a pedestrian hit by a Garda patrol car and thrown into the air.

Warren Farrell (35), a garda serving in Clondalkin, Co Dublin, was 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.

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

On day two of his trial Garda Declan Bambrick told the jury that he was on duty with Garda Farrell when they received details of a panic alarm for the Topaz station at Newlands Cross. He said he was in the passenger seat while Garda Farrell drove the Garda car to the scene.

He said on the Nangor Road, he de-activated the car’s siren in order to receive information over the Garda radio about the robbery. He said he was told a car had left the scene at speed and he then began scanning the road ahead for a car fitting a description.

He said Garda Farrell then re-activated the siren. He said when the car subsequently struck Mrs Core the siren was on.

He told James Dwyer SC, prosecuting, that he was sure that the patrol car siren and blue lights were on all the time apart from the time he was checking the radio when on Nangor Road.

Alma Ozakauskiene said that she saw the Garda car when it hit the deceased and said the road was curved and the car was moving at high speed. She said she didn’t hear the car coming. “There were no sirens, no lights,” she told Patrick McGrath SC, defending, who put it to her she was mistaken.

Geraldine Brown said she was coming out of a nearby housing estate and was on her mobile phone when she saw Mrs Core crossing the road “at a normal pace”.

She said there was no other traffic around and it was quiet. She became upset in court as she described seeing Mrs Core getting close to the other side and being hit by the patrol car.

She told the jury that she realised “she’s not going to make it” before seeing the deceased thrown up on to the car and somersaulting in the air. She said she just stood there in shock for what seemed a long time.

Ms Brown said the patrol car had flashing blue lights but she didn’t hear a siren. She said she saw Mrs Core looking up and down the road as she was crossing it.

She told Mr McGrath that she “honestly can’t remember” telling a garda inspector at the scene that the patrol car had the siren and blue lights on.

“I’m nearly sure they weren’t on,” she said.

The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury.