Driver cleared of responsibility for death of 15-year-old pedestrian

Sara Farrugia was crossing the road near the Cottonera sports centre with her younger brother, and was run over just 26 metres away from traffic lights 

A 43-year-old motorist has been cleared of having killed a 15-year-old girl by his negligent driving.

Ludvic Bartolo had been accused of the involuntary homicide of  Sara Farrugia, who died on September 21, 2013, while crossing the road near the Cottonera sports centre with her six-year-old brother.

The two children were hit by a Toyota Vitz with Bartolo at the wheel.

Farrugia had suffered fatal head injuries as a result, although her younger brother luckily escaped with only minor injuries.  

Technical experts appointed by the court dismissed the prosecution’s claims that the car's brakes were faulty and that the car was being driven at an excessive speed.

They noted that the victims had been run over just 26 metres away from a set of traffic lights, and that the driver’s field of vision was obstructed by a bus shelter and vegetation.

Magistrate Audrey Demicoli held that no negligence or violation of traffic regulations on the part of the driver had been proven, whilst on the other hand, the young victims had not crossed the road from the proper place and had done so without warning.

Bartolo was acquitted.  

Lawyers Franco Debono, Veronique Dalli, Amadeus Cachia and Andrew Saliba were defence counsel.

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