Spanish student hit by bus in Wicklow sues for damages

Incident occurred following altercation with Irish teenagers


A Spanish student who suffered catastrophic injuries when he was hit by a bus after stepping on to the road has sued for damages.

Carlos Tesch from Madrid was aged 12 and learning English here when the incident occurred in Bray, Co Wicklow, in February 2009, the High Court heard.

His counsel Dermot Gleeson SC said yesterday the boy suffered severe head injuries and, as a result, cannot walk or speak and is totally dependent on others.

Before the incident, Carlos was an excellent student destined to go far in life, counsel added.

Mr Gleeson said his client moved on to the road out of apprehension and fear when he and his friends saw a group of older Irish boys behind a wall. It was alleged those boys were previously involved in a confrontation with the younger Spanish boys.

The bus driver had engaged in banter with a passenger and was entirely unprepared when the child jumped out, counsel said.

Proper lookout
Carlos Tesch, through his father Hans Peter Tesch, Las Madras, Madrid, has sued Dublin Bus and the driver, Eddie O’Sullivan, Richmond Park, Bray, Co Wicklow, as a result of the incident on Herbert Road, Bray, on February 4th, 2009.

It is claimed the defendants failed to keep any or any proper lookout and failed to give a sufficient wide berth when the bus was passing the schoolboy and other students at the edge of the footpath.

The defendants deny the claims and Mr Justice Kevin Cross has been asked to assess liability in the matter.

Outlining the case, Mr Gleeson said there had been an altercation between Irish teenagers and the younger Spanish boys prior to this incident and teachers were summoned to get the Spanish boys past the older Irish boys.

On February 4th, 2009, Carlos and his friends saw the Irish teenagers behind a wall with a hurley and a stick, counsel said. Carlos moved on to the road out of apprehension and looked left, as was normal in Spain.

Mr Gleeson said there were eight cameras on the bus and the driver had clearly engaged in conversation with a passenger and had gesticulated. For those seconds, no attention was paid to the road, he said.

Named hazard
A group of children is a specifically named hazard and a bus driver should slow down, move out and sound a warning, counsel said.

In evidence, Davin McCarthy, a passenger on the bus that day, said he was preparing to get off when he saw a child run from the footpath as the bus got close.

Mr McCarthy said the driver put on the brakes and he did not think there was anything the driver could have done.

The case continues.