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Friday 18 August 2017

Hunt for hit-and-run driver as jogger fights for his life in hospital

Karl Robertson (28) who was knocked down by a van while out running in Artane. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Karl Robertson (28) who was knocked down by a van while out running in Artane. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

Gardai are searching for the hit and run van driver who left a jogger fighting for his life in hospital.

Karl Robertson (28), from Castlekevin Road in Artane, was running when he was knocked down on Hazelwood Drive, not far from his home, at 9.45pm on Tuesday.

He was clinging to life in Beaumont Hospital last night as his heartbroken family said they feared the worst.

His aunt Marie Larkin, who lives just yards away from Karl and his family, appealed for whoever was driving the vehicle to come forward.

This driver failed to stop at the scene, and a passing off-duty fireman and another man ran to Karl's aid and tended to him until the emergency services arrived.

Fire

As ambulance crews battled to save Karl, their Dublin Fire Brigade colleagues at North Strand station got a call to deal with a car fire in a nearby park off Beechlawn Grove, close to Parnells GAA Club.

It would later emerge that gardai suspect this vehicle - a white Renault Megane car van from around 2003 - was the one that knocked Karl down. It is not believed that the vehicle found burnt out was stolen.

"Karl's in a very bad way. He has spinal injuries, head injuries and broken limbs," said a tearful Marie Larkin.

"We just want whoever did this to hand themselves in. Please God, come forward for everyone's sake.

"Karl is a gentleman and he didn't deserve this. He doesn't drink or smoke. He just loves to walk his dog and do some jogging. He's a quiet lad. We're all heartbroken."

Marie also wanted to thank the off-duty fireman and the second man who stopped to help Karl.

"Anyone who did anything to help is fantastic. We want to thank them. If anyone knows anything about what happened or can help the gardai please come forward," she said.

Karl's sister Niamh said the family were doing their best to stay positive.

"We got a phone call [from the gardai] at about 11pm. My dad answered and they were asking him questions and all I heard him say was 'yes, he was wearing blue shorts and would have been out jogging'," she told RTE News.

Horrible

"I ran down the stairs and they said we needed to go to Beaumont Hospital.

"I was trying not to think that is was too serious and was trying to keep the family positive. My mam broke down straight away and nearly fell to the ground - it was horrible.

"Anyone who had done this or anyone who may have seen anything, heard anything, seen a car speeding around the area last night, please, please, please contact the gardai even if it's anonymous.

"I expect the person to own up because it's a horrible thing to do."

Karl works at Dunnes Stores in Northside Shopping Centre. He lives at home with Niamh and parents Tony and Cathy.

Neighbours and friends in the tight-knit Artane community were last night offering support to the family.

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