Tuesday 6 December 2016

Toddler (2) 'went to the angels' in her mother's arms after hit-and-run

Published 06/04/2015 | 20:05

The heartbroken father of the toddler who died after a hit-and-run incident involving a suspected drink driver has told today how she “went to the angels” in her mother’s arms.

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Little Venessa Siatka was just a month short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car that failed to stop at 6.35pm yesterday in the Phoenix Park.

A 24-year-old man was later arrested for a suspected hit-and-run and is still being questioned by gardai today.

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

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

“She was a happy, healthy and smiley little girl,” he told the Herald.

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

The Siatka family social media account is full of photographs of Venessa during her short life, visiting Santa on Christmas Eve and dressing up for special pictures.

Around him in the kitchen Venessa’s toys remained where she last played with them.

Tragic Venessa Siatka
Tragic Venessa Siatka

“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.

“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,” her father said.

Tragic Venessa was knocked down while on a visit to the park on the warmest day of the year while families relaxed at the end of the Easter bank holiday weekend.

But the day that started with such innocence turned to tragedy when she was hit by the car on the North Road near the Ashtown gate.

The car involved drove out of the park as witnesses raced to the aid of little Venessa and called emergency services.

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. The youngster later died
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured 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. 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. 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. 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

Paramedics battled to treat the girl and rushed her to Temple Street Hospital.

A short time after the incident, a 24-year-old Cabra man contacted gardai at Cabra Garda Station and was arrested.

He was later transferred to Blanchardstown Garda Station for further questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

He remained in custody overnight and was due to face further questioning today.

Investigating gardai wish to renew their appeal for witnesses and said they are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who may have seen the car involved - an 02 D registration green Toyota Corolla, "driving erratically near the Visitors Centre or in the general Phoenix Park area, yesterday afternoon prior to the collision".

Anyone who may have seen this car or who can assist with the investigation is asked to contact Cabra Garda Station on 01-6667400, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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