The Supreme Court dismissed the cassation appeal brought by the defense lawyer, Szczepan W., as manifestly unfounded. Previously, a 21-year-old man was finally sentenced to three years in prison for causing a fatal accident in which two girls, aged 10 and 11, were killed. Until now, he is still at large.
The first hearing in the case of the tragic accident took place on July 1, 2020 in front of the District Court in Legnica. After a three-month trial, the 20-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison. He was also banned from driving for 10 years. In justification, the court admitted that the defendant’s guilt was not subject to discussion and that he had deliberately broken the rules of road safety. As the court emphasized, W. had a driving license for only a year, he took the girls on his own initiative and did not make sure that they reached their parents safely. He was in a hurry, although it was wet and slippery on the road.
The parties appealed against the judgment. On April 13, 2021, the District Court in Legnica upheld the entire sentence of the first instance court against a young driver. For causing an accident in which two girls were killed, Szczepan W. was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. In addition – according to a final court judgment – he will not be able to drive for 10 years.
Several months have passed since the sentence was passed, and the 21-year-old man is still at large. His defense lawyer filed a motion to postpone the execution of the sentence, and additionally lodged a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court.
– The medical records show that Mr. Szczepan is incapable of serving a prison sentence due to his mental health. It was known throughout the trial that he was under the care of a psychiatrist from the very beginning, when he was awakened from a coma. As for the cassation appeal, our allegations relate primarily to the dismissal of the evidentiary motions that we submitted in the appeal process, explained in July in an interview with tvn24.pl the defendant’s lawyer Łukasz Kłak.
In mid-September, the Supreme Court informed the parties that it had decided to dismiss the appeal as manifestly unfounded. This decision means that W. has exhausted the possibilities of appealing against the judgment. There is also the question of postponing the execution of the sentence. In August, the District Court in Legnica dismissed the motion of the 21-year-old’s defense lawyer, but the latter appealed against it. The complaint will be examined by the court at the end of October this year.
On October 4, 2019, Ola and Wiktoria went to their friend in Jawor. A day later, around 7 p.m., they were to be taken home by the girl’s mother. According to the investigators, before leaving, the woman’s 19-year-old son suggested that he would take the girls away and meet his friends in Legnica. It was a rainy evening.
Moments before 7 pm they left Jawor. Exactly at 19, the young driver contacted one of his friends. He spoke to her for 20 seconds. At 19.02, he entered the address of one of the girls on the phone. A quarter of an hour later they entered Legnica. The accident happened exactly at 7:16 PM on Jaworzyńska Street, in an undeveloped area. It was dark. Road lamps illuminated the wet road.
A Mercedes delivery truck was approaching at a speed of 47 km / h. Two other cars drove nearby. Their drivers later testified as witnesses to the incident.
– I was following the vehicle that hit that car. Slippery, drizzle, dark. I cannot say what was the reason for leaving the opposite lane. A split second, everything as it seems in some movie. I called the emergency services. I ran to the first car, then to the car that was in the ditch. I was waiting for the arrival of the services. I tried to get to this car – reported Mr. Rafał, one of the witnesses.
Collision with the bus
There was a detailed description of the accident in the indictment. Investigators found that the young driver, driving along Jaworzyńska Street, overtaking the bus, did not adjust the speed to the road conditions. This section was limited to 70 km / h. The expert assessed that the Fiat was driving at a speed in the range of 95-115 km / h. In addition, it was raining, the surface was wet. The accused lost control of the vehicle, drove into the green belt crossing the road, and then into the lane for the opposite direction of travel. There it collided with an oncoming bus. After the collision, the car fell into a ditch. 10-year-old Ola died on the spot. Wiktoria, 11, died in hospital after five days. The 19-year-old also went to the hospital. The man spent several weeks there.
An expert in the field of road accident reconstruction stated in the opinion that “the occurrence of an accident is a consequence of improper and dangerous actions of the driver of a fiat punto passenger car”. He indicated that the accused broke traffic and safety rules. The expert emphasized that if the young driver complied with the regulations, exercised due care and the correct driving technique, he would have the possibility of avoiding the accident.
It was not found that the Fiat had any technical faults that could have affected the entire incident. It was also not found that the driver of the Mercedes – the other accident participant – contributed to it.
“All the circumstances indicate the driver’s perpetration”
The prosecutor found that “the violation of safety rules in road traffic by the accused was intentional”. As Radosław Wrębiak, the head of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Legnica told us in February 2020, the opinion of an IT expert who examined the driver’s phone showed that while driving, via an internet communicator, he had a conversation with three friends. After picking up his passengers, he was supposed to meet them in Legnica. The court’s findings did not confirm this.
During the investigation, the Fiat driver was questioned twice as a suspect. He consistently refused to explain, hiding himself from oblivion. He admitted that the Fiat belonged to his grandmother, and from the moment he obtained his driving license, he used it almost every day on the Jawor-Legnica road.
In the indictment, the prosecutor stated that all the circumstances of the case clearly indicated the perpetration of the young driver.
Main photo source: lca.pl