The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and the family of a woman who was killed in a hit-and-run accident have settled a compensation action in the High Court for €135,000
The court was informed that the driver of the car did not stop, fled the scene and is still untrace. He (the untraced driver) struck mother of one Caroline Watkins (40)fatally struck with his/her car while she was crossing the road at the Goldenbridge Luas stop on Davitt Road, Drimnagh, Dublin on May 30, 2014.
The legal action alleged that the untraced driver was driving in a dangerous and careless fashion and failed to come to a halt, slow down or swerve to reduce the impact of the collision. The allegations were denied by counsel for the MIBI.
Michael O’ Scanaill SC, with Bonnie Hickey BL was appearing at the High Court on behalf of the Watkins family in court. He informed the court that Caroline’s daughter Ella Watkins (16) of Esker Glebe, Lucan, Co Dublin, was only ten years old when her mother was killed in the collision, and was taking the legal action through her grandmother Ethel Watkins. Mr O Scanaill told the High Court that Ella now resides with her aunt and is “an incredible well-rounded individual
The High Court was told that Caroline’s family were left traumatised as the driver fled the scene and, to this date, remains untraced. Recorded security footage of the accident scene shows Ms Watkins got across half of the carriageway and was moving faster than a walking pace. Despite this, the pedestrian light was not in her favour and the person accompanying her had not tried to cross the road with her. The legal representatives also said that it was of the belief that the car which hit Ms Watkins was moving at a speed of 55 km /h in a 50 km/h zone.
At an official inquest into the death of Ms Watkins it was heard that she had been travelling home to Ballyfermot from a pub, with her partner, at about 10.30pm. They opted to walk to Davitt Road to get a taxi. When they reached the Goldenbridge Luas stop, they got to the edge of a pedestrian crossing and waited. Ms Watkins then walked out onto the road and collided with the bumper of a car. This collision threw her onto the bonnet and windscreen before she was thrown forward, landing about thirty feet away on the ground. A postmortem found Ms Watkins passed away due to multiple injuries sustained in the collision.
As he was giving his approval to the €150,000 settlement in the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he could understand the anger, upset and frustration e of the Watkins family where the driver abandoned the scene and “did not face the music.”
He went on to say that the driver “showed no courage” and commented that, from watching the security camera footage footage, Ms Watkins looked like she was “in a bit of a hurry” and had to cross the road through traffic coming in both directions. The red light was against her and she took a chance, the judge remarked.
Due to this he awarded 40pc of the full value of the compensation claim, €135,000, to Ella.