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'I cannot forgive myself' driver wrote after fatal St Julian's crash

We need discipline in this country - Magistrate

The scene of the accident.

The scene of the accident.

A young motorist who stands accused of having killed a man and injured seven in a traffic accident last week, wrote in a statement he could not forgive himself and he "hated" himself for causing the tragedy. 

Michael Caruana Turner, 20 of Birkirkara, was arraigned on Thursday morning and accused of dangerous driving and with having caused the death of a young Dutch man and having injured another seven people early last Friday morning.

He cried occasionally in the dock, head bent over a clenched fist, while his mother sobbed behind him as the prosecution and defence explained what had happened. 

A not-guilty plea was entered.

The accident happened in George Borg Olivier Street shortly before 5am, when the car driven by Mr Caruana mounted the pavement and rammed into the people walking there. 

A lamp post and some trees were also destroyed with the impact.

One of those hit, a 25-year-old Dutch man, succumbed to his injuries two days later.  The injured persons include a 25-year-old Englishman who was seriously injured, three Dutch men and another Briton. 

All were aged between 19 and 25. 

The charges against Mr Caruana-Turner include drink-driving.

The prosecution explained that on the night, Mr Caruana was driving under the influence of drink when on his way to his grandmother's house.

Immediately after the incident, he seemed unemotional but had since been very upset. 

The inspector said Mr Caruana did not have a criminal record and he did not feel he should be kept at Corradino prison.

Defence lawyer Joe Giglio said this was a tragic and unfortunate accident. He said the defence team were not convinced about the speed at which he was driving. 

Dr Giglio said his client had committed a fatal mistake which he would carry throughout his life.

He then read out part of Mr Caruana's statement expressing remorse: "I hate myself because he died because of me. I cannot forgive myself. I’m sorry for everyone involved," he said. 

“I am destroyed that he has lost his life,” he added, referring to the victim.

“I saw his photo. He seemed a good person.”

Dr Giglio said Mr Caruana had felt tired but since it was only a four-minute drive to his grandmother's, he felt he could do it.  

Magistrate Joe Mifsud, presiding, said young people should not be out at 4am.

"You’ll end up consuming more alcohol and our mind does not function as it should," he said. 

A pedestrian should not be killed in this manner, and the court had to send out a message to all.

"We need discipline in this country, discipline in all senses otherwise we’ll have more incidents of this kind."

Magistrate Mifsud said he had to strike a balance in this case so he was granting bail but ordering the accused not to leave home other than for medical and educational reasons and to sign the bail book.

"From now on, you have a driving ban. When going to sign bail book, go on foot. It will do you good for your health," the magistrate warned.  

Bail was granted against a deposit of €2,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000.

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