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Warsaw. Tragic accident on Marszałkowska. Closing speeches, Porsche driver

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– I drive less. I haven't exceeded the speed limit since the accident, I'm very careful in the city. When I drive, I'm constantly tense and stressed because I know what happened. Sometimes even a slight speed limit can lead to a tragedy, not necessarily through my fault. Speed ​​doesn't help – said Patryk D., accused in the tragic accident on Marszałkowska Street, in court on Wednesday.

The accident occurred in July 2021. On a warm, summer Saturday night, Patryk D. was driving a Porsche along Marszałkowska Street. On the odometer, as experts later calculated, he could have been driving about 137 km/h. At the height of Złota Street, where there was no zebra crossing, a pedestrian stepped onto the roadway, he was walking on crutches, he was drunk.

The driver of the Mazda, who was driving next to Patryk D.'s car at the speed limit, managed to pass the pedestrian and drove onto the tracks. The driver of the Porsche did not brake. The 45-year-old, as one of the witnesses described during the trial, was thrown “a few dozen meters”. He died at the scene.

Now, about 400 meters from the tragic accident, in the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście, the trial of the Porsche driver began and ended the same day. Although the closing arguments in this case were already delivered in June 2023, and all parties appeared for the verdict. However, unexpectedly, Judge Anna Tyszkiewicz decided to resume the trial. She did not give reasons for this decision.

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Later, a trial date was set several more times, but each one “dropped off the docket”. The reason was the judge's illness. Ultimately, the case was transferred to another clerk, which, according to the regulations, meant that the trial would start over.

The case has now been heard by Judge Paweł Macuga, who opened the trial on Wednesday, more than a year after the break, and closed it an hour later. He will announce the verdict in a week, exactly on the third anniversary of the death of 45-year-old Emil.

The accused in the courtroom tvnwarszawa.pl

“He bragged about dangerous driving”

Let us recall, the accident occurred on July 18, 2021 on Marszałkowska near Złota. A 45-year-old disabled man died. For several days, investigators were unable to identify him, but people in a homeless crisis, concerned about their friend's absence, contacted the police.

Activists from the Miasto Jest Nasze association determined that the Porsche was driven by a young man who had previously bragged about dangerous driving at high speeds on social media. He had been convicted of traffic violations.

The indictment went to court in March 2022. As experts calculated at the time, just before hitting the pedestrian, the driver of the white Porsche 911 had at least 137 kilometers per hour on the odometer. We learned that the experts' opinion mentioned that the speed of the car over a distance of several dozen meters changed and ranged from 120 to 160 kilometers per hour.

Marszałkowska has six lanes in its central section. In the evenings, especially during weekends, it becomes a “track” for street races by drivers and motorcyclists.

In addition, Patryk D. was charged with possession of psychotropic substances in the form of mephedrone at home. The police found them during a search after the accident.

Fatal hit-and-run on Marszałkowska StreetTomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl

He is “anti-drug” but admitted to possessing them

The judge decided that the witnesses would not be called again in the new trial. The new chairman familiarized himself with their statements thanks to the transcripts. The parties also did not request that they be read during Wednesday's hearing. Only the accused was questioned.

– As for the first act, the accident, of course I admit. As for the second act, possession of drugs, I admit because I would like to get the whole thing over with. For me, the main act is the accident, I have never taken drugs, I am an enemy of these substances – he assured.

So why am I confessing? – Because the prosecutor's office made a proposal that if I confess to both acts and reconcile with the family of the wronged parties, the case would end with a year and eight months of imprisonment, and if I do not reconcile, the sentence will be around two years. For this reason, I decided to confess, to put the accident case behind me – he said.

He reiterated his testimony from earlier hearings. “I would also like to say a few words about myself. I was described as a guy who parties seven days a week, is a public figure, runs Instagram in an influencer way. That I am a recognizable person, mainly from parties and driving cars,” he said. “And the reality was that at the time of the accident I had about 200 followers on Instagram, and I follow about the same number of people. They are mainly people I have met personally, either at school or in life,” he added.

He also assured that before the accident he worked six days a week and spent time with friends mainly on Saturdays.

“I'm very sorry” is an understatement

Did the accident cause you to reflect on your behaviour in land traffic? asked the accused’s defence lawyer, attorney Paweł Matracki.

– Yes, definitely. I drive less. I haven't exceeded the speed limit since the accident, I'm very careful in the city. When I drive, I'm constantly tense and stressed because I know what happened. Sometimes even a slight speed limit can lead to a tragedy, not necessarily through my fault. Speed ​​doesn't help – his client replied.

– Do you regret what happened? – came the next question.

– This is a very difficult part of my life, which will always stay with me. I am very sorry, that is an understatement. You lost your life, my life has also turned upside down. The only thing I could do was to make amends to my family in some way – he replied.

And he assured that he tried to do so. – When I was in custody, I wanted to contact the deceased's family. I only managed to do so when a representative appeared. I suggested that we build a grave for you, which I did. When I got out, I met the deceased's sister, it wasn't easy for me. These are situations that you don't forget. The accident taught me a lot, in many aspects of life – he argued.

The judge asked how else he had made amends to the deceased's family. He replied that he had paid cash to the sister and brother of the pedestrian who had been hit. He had paid for an attorney to represent them and had paid for the airfare to the hearings of the deceased's sister, who had flown in from abroad.

– Did the injured parties actually receive 20,000 zlotys each? – the judge asked the family representative.

– Yes, the accused financed the tombstone, financed the costs related to the trial, the parties reached a reconciliation, the accused was forgiven. I confirm everything he explained – replied legal counsel Paweł Drupiewski.

The judge also asked the accused about the circumstances of finding drugs in his home. Patryk D. was unable to answer, however, where the substance had come from in his apartment, and he did not know who it could have belonged to. He also had doubts about the search itself. He pointed out that the police had noticed a safe in his apartment, but had not asked him to open it.

Fatal hit-and-run on Marszałkowska Streettvnwarszawa.pl

“Driving at such speed in urban conditions is extremely irresponsible”

In his closing speech, prosecutor Michał Marcinkowski pointed out that the accused pleaded guilty, and that the testimonies of the witnesses heard during the trial corresponded with his explanations: the passenger and the passengers of the Mazda that the Porsche driver overtook.

– The accused's significant speeding counts against him. Driving at such speed in urban conditions is extremely irresponsible. Especially since, even in the evenings in Warsaw, there is significant pedestrian and vehicle traffic – said the prosecutor.

He noted that the accused had also been fined many times for breaking the law. – The accused's advantage is the fact that the injured party was running in a prohibited place. Additionally, the accused's clean criminal record at the time of committing the act. The fact that he works, has a higher education, his life line before the accident was correct. In addition, there is the issue that he made amends to his family, there was reconciliation – he said.

Ultimately, he requested a sentence of two years and five months in prison and a five-year ban on driving all motor vehicles for the first offense, causing an accident. For possession of drugs, he requested a three-month sentence. In total, he proposed: two years, six months' imprisonment and a driving ban for five years.

A more lenient sentence was proposed by the deceased's family attorney. – My client and the client who did not actively participate in the trial, they are not against the application of non-custodial sentences or so-called “suspension” sentences – he said.

– However, they are asking for a preventive measure in the form of a driving ban at the upper limits – he added.

Fatal hit-and-run on Marszałkowska Street tvnwarszawa.pl

“He jumped over my car and jumped on the Porsche”

– My client has pleaded guilty. He has no doubts that he violated the safety rules in land traffic. He has never questioned the harm that Emil Z.'s family suffered, we have never questioned their emotions. However, I would like to point out that Mr. Emil's behavior also had an impact on the course of the event. The best proof of this is the testimony of the Mazda driver – the defense attorney pointed out in his closing speech.

He read excerpts from the witness's testimony: “I turned onto the tram tracks, he jumped over my car and jumped onto the Porsche. The man was thrown several dozen meters. He was wearing dark clothing. There was almost no traffic before the accident, he was weak. The man did not behave like other pedestrians, he waited for the cars to pass and then started running.”

– From the testimony of this witness, one can conclude that Mr. Emil was deliberately passing by in that place, wanting to force him to behave in a way that would result in him being placed in hospital, because we know that he was moving on crutches – he said.

– The place of the incident is 300, 400 meters from here. This street is wider than the motorway. Anyone who knows this city knows that it is a busy and dangerous street. I do not want to undermine the tragedy, but it must be noted that Mr. Emil was not crossing a residential street, it was a large, wide, thoroughfare, comparable to a motorway. My client undoubtedly violated the safety rules in land traffic, but it could have happened that the driver of the Mazda would have been sitting in his seat, and not him – he added.

He also noted that his client had indeed received several tickets, but over many years. – I also have no doubt that my client had no contact with drugs, that he did not use them. Toxicological tests confirmed this.

Ultimately he requested a year's imprisonment and a punitive measure in the form of a driving ban for one year.

Author:Klaudia Ziółkowska

Main image source: Tomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl

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