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Thursday 14 December 2017

‘We all makes mistakes’: Judge tells biker as victim left brain damaged

Conor Gallagher

A MOTORCYCLIST has been given a suspended sentence for leaving a pedestrian severely brain damaged after a judge noted "we all make mistakes."

Lukas Krycia (29) was going over the speed limit and travelling in the cycle lane when he hit mother-of-two, Anne Marie Campbell as she was crossing the road.

Ms Campbell (40) was left severely brain damaged and is now unable to live independently. She can no longer work in her previous role as a home carer and is unable to care for her children without supervision.

Judge Martin Nolan noted the “incredibly serious injuries” Ms Campbell suffered and said that Krycia acted in a “grossly reckless” manner. However he commented that “we all make mistakes while driving and sometimes even the best of people take chances they shouldn’t take”.

He noted Krycia’s remorse and offer of €6,000 compensation. The judge also took into account that Krycia will now lose his job as a Dublin Bus driver as his offence automatically carries a four year driving ban.

He sentenced Krycia to two and a half years, suspended in full on condition that he hands over the compensation to the victim’s family.

Krycia of Summerville Green, Walkinstown and a native of Poland pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious injury on the Crumlin Road on November 3, 2011.

Garda James Geary told prosecuting counsel Ronan Kennedy BL that at 9.15am that morning the traffic was slow moving and “bumper to bumper”. A motorist saw Ms Campbell at the roadside and stopped to let her across.

As she crossed the road Ms Campbell’s view of the opposite cycle lane was obscured by a van. At the time Krycia was bypassing the slow moving traffic by speeding up the cycle lane on his Yamaha motorcycle.

He hit the victim as she stepped into the lane. A later investigation showed he was going at least 53 kmph and possibly much more. The speed limit was 50 kmph. Witnesses reported seeing Ms Campbell flung several feet in the air and seeing Krycia come off the bike and land 40 or 50 yards away.

They were both taken to hospital where Ms Campbell spent nine days in intensive care. She suffered bleeding on the brain as well as many cuts and bruises. She also developed pneumonia as a result of being on a ventilator for so long.

Gda Geary said there was no bad weather or poor road conditions which may have contributed to the accident. He said motorcyclists are not allowed in cycle lanes and the lane was clearly signposted.

Krycia was later arrested and admitted in interview that he knew he was breaking the law. He pleaded guilty at an early stage and presented a letter to the court apologising to Ms Campbell.

Defence counsel Conor Devally SC said Krycia’s daughter was born three weeks after the crash and this has given him insight into the consequences of his actions.

Counsel said he is married and living in Ireland since 2006. In his letter Krycia told the victim he thinks about the accident every day and is hugely remorseful.

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