herald

Friday 9 December 2016

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

The scene in the Phoenix Park, inset, Venessa Siatka (22 months)
The scene in the Phoenix Park, inset, Venessa Siatka (22 months)
Tragic Venessa Siatka
Tragic Vanessa Siatka who died this morning after being struck by a car
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park
Venessa Siatka (22 months).
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car. The youngster later died
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car. The youngster later died
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car. The youngster later died
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car. The youngster later died
Gardai investigate an incident on the North Road in Phoenix Park, where a toddler was seriously injured after being struck by a car. The youngster later died

THE young 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.

Little Venessa Siatka was a month short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car that failed to stop in the Phoenix Park on Monday evening.

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

A 24-year-old man from Cabra was arrested after he presented himself to his local garda station.

This morning he was released without charge in the early hours of this morning. A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

READ MORE: 'Little Venessa went to the angels in her mother's arms' after hit-and-run, says heartbroken dad

It is suspected he had 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.

READ MORE: Face of toddler who lost her fight for life after being struck in hit and run

The suspect's period of detention was extended to reflect rest periods since his initial arrest on Monday evening.

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

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.

It was a short time after the incident that the 24-year-old suspect contacted gardai at Cabra Garda Station and was arrested.

Speaking from his Blanch- ardstown 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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