Wexford People

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Family's relief as drunk hit-and-run driver jailed

THE FAMILY of young New Ross woman Laura Byrne have expressed their relief that the drunken hit-and-run driver who knocked her down has been jailed.

Speaking after Polish man Karl Chrzan was sentenced to two and a half years at Wexford Circuit Court last Friday, Laura's father Tom said they are happy the 24-year-old received a sentence, for his ' daughter's sake'.

'We would have liked to see him get 10 years but we are happy with what he got. We were always sceptical if he was going to do time, and we were concerned about that for the year-and-a-half we were going through this since the accident,' said Tom.

Laura (22) is still recovering from the serious injuries she suffered when struck by the car Chrzan was driving on John Street in New Ross in June 2009. The court last week heard how he had drunk beer and vodka before going out, and fled the scene after driving into a group of people who Laura was socialising with.

He says his daughter Laura is 'relieved' that the case is now over and is looking forward to putting everything behind her and getting on with her life.

'We have results and that is important - it is closure,' added Tom.

22-year-old Laura is still receiving treatment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoighre for her injuries and will continue to do so until June, however she has come a long way since the hitand-run, according to Tom.

'It was a nightmare. I wouldn't like to see anyone else go through it. When something like this comes to your own doorstep you only then realise how serious things could be,' said Tom, who paid tribute to people's generosity and in particular to Sergeant Niall Brophy for his continuous support.

' The people in New Ross were amazing, we have to thank everyone in the town for what they did, they were fabulous. You never think you have as many friends until something happens,' he added.