Saturday 15 June 2019

Uninsured limo driver told to pay €500,000 over fatal accident

Father of two died after falling off bonnet and under car's wheels

Liam ‘Bill’ Stafford (28) fell under a limousine and died
Liam ‘Bill’ Stafford (28) fell under a limousine and died
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

An uninsured driver who was involved in an incident that led to the death of a man has had a €500,000 judgment registered against him.

Dara O'Sullivan, from Dublin, was the driver of a limousine when it drove over father-of-two Liam 'Bill' Stafford in 2009.

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The Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has secured a judgment of €500,000 against the uninsured driver.

It took the action to recover the money it had to pay out to the family of the victim.

The MIBI is a not-for-profit company that was established to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured drivers and unidentified vehicles.

Mr O'Sullivan, of Clonard Road, Dundrum, Dublin, has paid the MIBI €720, but now owes it €503,600 plus costs, according to 'Stubbs Gazette'.

He was the driver and co-owner of the limo when a young man was run over after jumping on the bonnet while "acting the goat", the inquest into the death was told.

The prank went wrong when the car pulled off because the people inside were scared and panicked, the coroner heard.

It led to the death of Mr Stafford (28), who was dragged along the road and later suffered a cardiac arrest.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard that Mr Stafford, from Ballyogan, south Dublin, was not aware that there was anyone in the car when he jumped on the bonnet.

Mr Stafford had been on his way to his mother's house after a night out with friends when the incident happened at Clonard Lawn in Sandyford in the early hours of November 8, 2009. His friend James Clarke was on the roof and Mr Stafford was on the bonnet. Mr Clarke said they were not aware that anyone was in the car at the time.

The car drove off and travelled more than 30 metres. Mr Stafford clung to the bonnet, before falling under and being dragged along the road.

He suffered a cardiac arrest on his way to St Vincent's Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

A post-mortem examination found he died as a result of multiple injuries, particularly severe chest injuries.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Following a Garda investigation, Mr O'Sullivan was charged with dangerous driving causing death, and was acquitted.

The MIBI said at the start of this year that uninsured drivers who were responsible for road traffic accidents faced the prospect of being pursued for substantial costs.

Punishment terms facing the uninsured drivers responsible include having their assets or vehicles seized by a sheriff, mandatory debt repayments, bankruptcy proceedings, the mandatory sale of their home and even imprisonment.

Irish Independent

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