Thursday 29 September 2016

Drink-drive probe after Venessa (2) killed

'She has gone to the angels', says tot's heartbroken father

Ken Foy, Conor Feehan and Emma Jane Hade

Published 08/04/2015 | 02:30

Gardaí are probing whether a suspect arrested over a hit-and-run that killed a toddler had been taking drink and drugs before the collision.

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Venessa Siatka was just a month short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car that failed to stop in the Phoenix Park on Monday evening.

Tragic Venessa Siatka who died this morning after being struck by a car
Tragic Venessa Siatka who died this morning after being struck by a car
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car. The youngster later died
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car. Picture:Arthur Carron

Her heartbroken dad, Lukasz Siatka, said she "went to the angels" in her mother's arms.

A 24-year-old man from Cabra was arrested after he presented himself to his local garda station.

He was released without charge in the early hours of this morning. A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Gardaí are investigating reports that the suspect had been driving "erratically" earlier on Monday.

Little Venessa Siatka was just a month short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car in the Phoenix Park
Little Venessa Siatka was just a month short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car in the Phoenix Park
Venessa Siatka

A source said that gardaí are also probing whether the man had taken drink and drugs in the run-up to the collision.

Venessa was hit by the car on the North Road near the Ashtown gate.

Speaking from his Blanchardstown home, Lukasz Siatka (32) described Venessa as 12kg of love.

"She was a happy, healthy and smiley little girl," he said.

"If I had a bad day in work, it all disappeared when I walked through the door. She made our troubles disappear.

"She loved Mickey Mouse and Peppa Pig," said Lukasz, as he tried to come to terms with the loss of his only child.

"She was beautiful. A beautiful little girl," he added.

Venessa was with her mother Katarzyna, also known as Kasia, when the tragedy occurred.

"They had gone to the park with a friend and another child when she was knocked down," said Lukasz.

Hurt

"I got a phone call and went straight to the hospital. I had been told Venessa was badly hurt and then when I saw Kasia I knew how bad it was."

Lukasz said doctors at Temple Street told them there was no chance that Venessa would survive. "Waiting was the worst thing. Waiting and not being able to do anything," he said.

"Then at 1.28am Venessa died in Kasia's arms. She went to the angels."

Road safety campaigners have called for pedestrian crossings to be constructed and for the speed limit to be reduced in the Phoenix Park.

A spokesperson for the Office of Public Works said they were "deeply saddened by the tragic road accident", but confirmed that there were "no specific pedestrian crossings in the Park" and said the speed limit was set at 50kmh.

Dublin City Lord Mayor Christy Burke said he would be raising the tragic accident as part of his business during the council meeting next Monday.

"I will be calling upon the Office of Public Works to now install safety pedestrian crossings in the park, given the amount of children and adults that are using the park in to the summer months.

Lobbying

"I would like something done sooner rather than later.

"My heart and sympathies go out to this family, it is a heartbreak."

Donegal-based road safety campaigner Mary Clinton said that she would like the speed limit to be reduced to 30kmh.

Ms Clinton, who established the Action-Campaign for Education Against Road Tragedies said it was of "vital importance".

"I am lobbying and campaigning to have limits in built- up areas, anywhere there is kids, reduced to 20kmh," she said.

Irish Independent

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