herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Man arrested in hit-and-run 'on two-day bender'

THE man arrested after a hit-and-run accident that killed a toddler is suspected of having been on a two-day drink and drugs binge before the incident in the Phoenix Park.

The 24-year-old was arrested after he presented himself to his local garda station at Cabra on Monday evening.

He was released without charge early today and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Little Venessa Siatka was just weeks short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car that failed to stop.

Her heartbroken dad Lukasz (32) told the Herald that she "went to the angels" in her mother's arms.

cocaine

The arrested man is suspected to have been drinking and taking drugs over the weekend.

"Vodka and cocaine were consumed prior to this accident," a source said.

Gardai are also investigating reports that the suspect had been driving and behaving "erratically" earlier on Monday.

A cyclist was allegedly pushed from a bike and verbal abuse was shouted at people as they walked on the street.

The suspect was first questioned at Cabra Garda Station but was later brought to Blanchardstown where his questioning continued.

Venessa was hit by the car on the North Road near the Ashtown gate of the Phoenix Park.

The car involved drove out of the park as witnesses raced to the aid of the little girl and called emergency services.

Paramedics battled to save her and she was rushed to Temple Street Hospital with critical head and internal injuries.

Speaking from his Blanchardstown home, Venessa's dad described her as 12kg of love.

"She was a happy, healthy and smiley little girl. If I had a bad day in work it all disappeared when I walked through the door. She made our troubles disappear," he said.

Around him in the kitchen, Venessa's toys remained where she last played with them.

"She loved Mickey Mouse and Peppa Pig," said Mr Siatka.

"She was beautiful. A beautiful little girl."

Venessa was with her mother, Katarzyna, also known as Kasia, when the tragedy happened.

"They had gone to the park with a friend and another child when she was knocked down," said Mr Siatka.

survive

"I got a phone call and went straight to the hospital. I had been told Venessa was badly hurt and then when I saw Kasia I knew how bad it was."

He said doctors at Temple Street told them there was no chance Venessa would survive.

"Waiting was the worst thing. Waiting and not being able to do anything," he added.

"Then at 1.28am Venessa died in Kasia's arms. She went to the angels."

kfoy@herald.ie

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