Saturday 17 August 2019

Boy awarded €36k after his father's car was struck by driver who threatened to stab witness

Stock picture
Stock picture

Simone Smith

A 16-year-old schoolboy has been awarded damages of €36,000 after the vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a car, driven by a man who threatened to stab a witness at the scene, a judge heard today.

Oisin Putt, of Oakdale Road, Ballycullen Park, Dublin 24, was traveling in the passenger seat of his father’s car in October 2016, when they were hit by a vehicle driven by the late Keith Willis, as they pulled away from traffic lights in Palmerston, Dublin.

Oisin, who was 14 at the time of the accident sued the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland through his father, David Put, after having suffered both physical and psychological injuries following the collision.

Barrister Alistair Rutherdale, counsel for Oisin, told the President of the Circuit Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that Oisin had suffered pain in his arms, neck and shoulders in the aftermath of the crash.

Mr Rutherdale, who appeared with David R Fowler Solicitors, said Oisin had also suffered psychological issues such as sleeping difficulty, panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks and nervousness in a car.

Counsel said that Oisin’s relevant medical history includes spina bifia and that he is wheelchair bound. He said that prior to the accident he suffered from no pain.

Mr Putt, in a signed affidavit to the court, said he believed there had been some issues with Mr Willis after the crash and that he felt he had been on drugs or alcohol.

Oisin’s father David, describing the accident, said in an affidavit that he and his son had just started to pull away from the lights when the car, driven by Willis, came round a corner from the Chapelizod Bypass at speed and hit the car he was driving, on the Kennelsfort Road, spinning it around.

He said there was a heavy impact and that the airbags deployed, striking Oisin in the face. Mr Putt said Willis then made attempts to leave the scene and threatened to stab a witness who was trying to prevent him fleeing.

Mr Putt said that when the Gardai later called to see Willis he was wearing a bullet proof vest and had been  under the impression there were criminals after him. He stated that Willis had multiple convictions and, prior to his death, had been in prison.

Mr Rutherdale said Willis had since died but in any event was uninsured at the time of the accident. He said there was a concern that the vehicle registration was “bogus” but that Gardaí had been unable to advance this aspect of their investigation.

Judge Groarke approved the offer which had been recommended by Mr Rutherdale and awarded Oisin damages totalling €36,055.

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