Garda on phone to boyfriend as he was hit by car
A YOUNG garda broke down in tears yesterday when she told how she was on the phone to her boyfriend when he was knocked down while crossing a road.
John Forde (27) was fatally injured when he was struck by a taxi in the early hours of the morning while he was crossing the N11 Stillorgan dual-carriageway. He had been out with friends and had been in regular contact with his girlfriend -- by phone -- throughout the night.
Garda Marion Power of Dun Laoghaire garda station was in tears going into the witness box to give evidence at an inquest at Dublin Coroner's Court.
She received a call on her mobile phone from Mr Forde at 3.34am. "I was speaking to him for maybe a minute or so -- I'm not sure -- and then the phone went dead," she said.
"I thought John had hung up. At 3.48am I tried to ring him back and the phone was dead."
A few minutes later, Gda Power met a colleague who told her she was on her way to Ballinclea Heights in Killiney to caution a family that there had been an accident.
"I knew then it was John Forde who was involved in the accident," said a visibly upset Gda Power.
The incident occurred between 3.30am and 3.40am on May 23 on the dual-carriageway at the junction with Kilmacud Road Lower.
The inquest heard the lights were green for traffic and red for pedestrians when the incident occurred.
Taxi driver Felix Obankole told the hearing that a young male had suddenly walked out in front of him.
"He was talking on his mobile phone and was not looking where he was going," said Mr Obankole, who expressed his condolences to the family.
A file was submitted to the DPP and no prosecutions were directed.
The coroner's court heard Mr Forde had called to his friend David Foster's home at around 10pm and they and a number of other friends went to McGowan's pub in Stillorgan at midnight.
Mr Foster said they all had about four to five pints in McGowan's pub and that John was "merry" but not drunk.
"Right before I reached the island in the middle of the dual carriageway I heard a bang. I looked around and I saw John in the air," said Mr Foster.
A jury of six men and one woman returned a verdict of accidental death.