Driver faces 400 hours community service, €5,000 fine for 2010 fatal accident

Motorist condemned to pay €5,000 fine, 400 hours of community service for traffic accident in which motorcyclist Jesmond Scicluna was killed

A motorist whose negligent driving caused the death of a motorcyclist has been fined €5,000 and ordered to carry out 400 hours of community service.

38-year-old Jeremy Cilia was found guilty of causing the death of Jesmond Scicluna in a traffic accident that occurred seven years ago in Zebbug.

The fatal accident occurred in Triq is-Siġġiewi, as Cilia drove straight out of a secondary road onto the busy thoroughfare without stopping, causing the biker to swerve into an oncoming truck.

Magistrate Joseph Mifsud noted that the only two witnesses in this case had been the accused and the truck driver, but a court-appointed expert had concluded that there had been gross negligence on Cilia’s part, when he ignored a stop sign. However, travelling at 101km/hr, the victim had also been going too fast to safely avoid the car, the expert said.

The court held that the accused had failed to come to a complete stop, as he had been required to, and ended up turning himself into an obstacle in the middle of the road. 

Scicluna had no choice but to swerve into the opposite lane to avoid him, held the court.

“Our courts in various sentences have declared that high speed by a main road user cannot, in and of itself, be taken a priori as a determining factor for responsibility for an incident or a contributing factor to the same, but one must always look at the determining elements that led to the incident.”

The court established that the incident occurred because the motorcyclist had been travelling too fast and the accused had pulled out of a secondary road without using the requisite caution

Noting that in similar cases in the past, the courts had handed down suspended sentences, fines and community work, as well as the fact that there was nothing to show that Cilia was a threat to society or needed reform, the court imposed a fine of €5,000 and ordered him to perform 400 hours of unpaid community service with Puttinu Cares.

Cilia also had his driving licence suspended for two years.

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