Friday 28 October 2016

Driver who killed Girl Guide captain had fake insurance

Blathnaid Cadwell
Blathnaid Cadwell

A 23-year-old Girl Guide captain died after she was hit by a car driven by a Chinese national who had bought a fake insurance disc for his BMW, an inquest heard.

Blathnaid Cadwell, of Beech Lawn, Dundrum, suffered fatal head injuries in the incident on February 23, 2002. She was taken to St James's Hospital where she later died.

Ms Cadwell, a communications graduate who followed her father, former RTE cameraman Bill Cadwell, into television media, was described as a successful, outgoing young woman "with so much to give".

"In her 23 years she had a wonderful life. She had achieved so much - a good degree, the job she wanted. It is only when she is gone that you realise what an impact she had," said her mother, Mary Cadwell.

Driver Liu Yang was 24 at the time and was working and studying in Ireland.

He was driving a 5 Series two-litre BMW he had bought two weeks before.

Arrested and charged with dangerous driving causing death, he fled the country on a fake passport the day before he was due to appear in court.

Ms Cadwell had attended a Girl Guides event at her local parish hall the night before she died. She stayed with a friend and was on her way home when the incident happened.

Witness Michael Mooney saw the BMW travelling at up to 60mph in a 30mph zone.

"I saw the back of the car sliding out, and I thought, 'He's going to be in trouble', and turned back," he said.

When he saw Ms Cadwell lying on the footpath, he called an ambulance.

Yang told gardai he had a Chinese driving licence but had failed the theory test here.


"As I was driving up Beaumont Avenue I could not control the car, the road was wet," he said.

Due to appear in court on October 25, 2002, he left Ireland the day before. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest, but he had returned to China on a fake passport.

There is no extradition treaty between Ireland and China, but the case remains open, and if Yang sets foot in any European country he can be sent back here for trial.

First opened in 2002, the inquest concluded with a narra- tive verdict, due to the outstanding charge, from a jury at Dublin Coroner's Court.

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