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Biker to blame for incident which left him grievously injured, court says

A driver who was involved in a traffic accident that left a motorcyclist grievously injured has been cleared of dangerous driving charges

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
20 July 2017, 2:00pm
Schembri could not be found guilty of reckless driving because it had been Farrugia, who failed to keep in mind the fact that Schembri might turn towards Mosta
Schembri could not be found guilty of reckless driving because it had been Farrugia, who failed to keep in mind the fact that Schembri might turn towards Mosta
A driver who was involved in a traffic accident that left a motorcyclist grievously injured has been cleared of dangerous driving charges after a court ruled that the accident had been the fault of the injured party.

Inspector Robert Vella had charged Isaac Schembri with reckless driving and involuntarily causing grievous injury and property damage to Arnold Farrugia after Schembri's Mazda and Farrugia's Kawasaki collided on 16 December 2012 on Buqana Road, Rabat.

Farrugia had told magistrate Josette Demicoli how he had been driving from Ghajn Tuffieha towards Rabat, when Schembri's car had suddenly appeared on the road, exiting J. Micallef Petrol Station, where it came to a sudden and unexpected halt.

Farrugia had said he had been close to the exit when this happened and that there had been no time for him to take evasive action. The court was told that Farrugia required three operations and a stay in hospital due to the injuries he sustained. A doctor certified his injuries as being grievous in nature.

Farrugia had admitted that the white line along the road by the petrol station was a dotted one, not a continuous line. However, he denied that the Mazda had stopped on a part of the road intended for cars turning towards Mosta.

Another motorcyclist, Grezzju Farrugia, told the court that he had not crashed into the accused's car because he had been riding behind the other motorcycle and had more time to avoid it, but his Ducati had still been slightly damaged as a result.

From the witness stand, the accused, Schembri, explained that he had looked both ways before exiting the petrol station. He had seen two cars in the lane leading to Mosta, sufficiently far away for him to enter the road. As he was turning out of the petrol station, he had spotted two motorbikes, one of which was approaching at high speed, he said. The faster motorcycle of the two then overtook the two cars he had previously spotted, Schembri explained. Seeing the velocity at which the bike was travelling, he decided that he would not get onto the road in time and so had attempted to turn his car back onto the pavement.

In spite of his attempt to get out of the way, Schembri said, Farrugia's Kawasaki had piled into the rear door of his car, writing the Mazda off in the process.

Having seen the evidence, the court ruled that Schembri had kept a proper look out whilst exiting the station and had responsibly decided to pull to the side to avoid the oncoming motorcycle.

Schembri could not be found guilty of reckless driving because it had been Farrugia, who failed to keep in mind the fact that Schembri might turn towards Mosta instead of Rabat, the court held as it cleared Schembri of all charges. 

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...