Driver is fined ¤1,000 for not stopping after tragic accident
‘NOTHING will bring her back,’ said Enniskerry man John Callan after the driver of a car which killed his sister Lily last December was fined ¤1,000 for leaving the tragic scene.
She was out bringing Christmas presents to her friends in Kiltegan and was on her way home when tragedy struck.
Lilly got off the bus and was walking towards home when she was knocked down.
‘What we went through for the last ten months - nobody will every understand it,’ added Mr. Callan, as he struggled to fight back the tears. ‘We are disappointed with today’s result, but there’s nothing you can do but get on with life.’
David Lennox, with an address of 39 Kilclare Gardens, Jobstown, Tallaght, was driving on the Enniskerry Road at around 5 p.m. on the evening of December 17, 2007, when he collided with the late Ms. Callan, (79) the court heard.
Garda John O’Donnell told the court that around one hour later, Lennox’s girlfriend contacted gardaí and they went to meet him at a house he was renting in Enniskerry.
Lennox later told Gardaí that he was driving towards Enniskerry at the Killeagar Road junction and, knowing he had hit something on his left hand side, he swerved, panicked and went home before ringing his girlfriend Stella Blakemore, and asking her to contact the authorities on his behalf.
‘He was frozen in shock,’ said Lennox’s neighbour Niall Savage, who took the stand as a character witness. ‘He was in a very bad state and extremely upset. All he could think about was the deceased woman and her family and he said that if he could give back what they had lost he would.’
Garda O’Donnell agreed that there was no question of drinking or reckless driving. The charges brought before the court were failing to stop, and failing to remain at the scene. He also said that he accepted his remorse as genuine.
Lennox had been in New Zealand with his fiancee Ms. Blakemore, working on a one-year visa, and had returned voluntarily to meet the case.
Lennox took the stand himself and made a tearful apology to the family members present in court, saying ‘If I could take it back, I would.’ He said that he had previously inquired about apologising to the family in person but had been told it was probably not a good time to talk to them.
‘None of us know how we would react, we like to think we would do the right thing and stop,’ said Mr. Lennox’s barrister.
He said that the 33-year-old father of one was tormented by the consequences of his actions that night. ‘He will live with the shame and guilt forever.’
‘Mr. Lennox, you did unnecessarily impede the investigation by not stopping at the scene,’ said Judge Murrough Connellan before handing down fines of ¤500 each for failing to stop and failing to remain at the scene. He was also banned from driving for two years and one day.
‘It’s sad to think the value of a life is ¤1,000,’ said Lily’s niece Anne-Marie
after the conviction. MY BELOVED aunt, who was as close as a mother to me all my life, died a sudden and tragic death, in horrific circumstances, all alone with nobody to comfort her in her dying moments.
The person who was responsible for her death did not even bother to stay with her. We as the family have never disputed it was an accident, but it was Mr. Lennox’s actions in failing to stop and stay at the scene or to have even phoned for an ambulance which has enraged us.
He has never made any attempt to apologise for his actions. He must take in to consideration that John and Breda have lost a sister, we have lost a sister in-law, aunt and a grand-aunt. It has destroyed many happy occasions such as Christmas, her eightieth birthday in March, her grand-niece whom was sitting her Junior Cert. this year, and many other events which will unfold without her throughout the years to come.
We the family of the late Elizabeth Callan would just like to thank everyone for their kind support in what has been the worst ten months of our lives.