Msida ‘hit-and-run’: police believe accident was unintentional

Bowser hit woman with rear wheels, and human tissue was not removed from wheels - police say 'hit-and-run' may have been unintentional.

The fatal traffic accident in Imsida last month. Photo John Pisani
The fatal traffic accident in Imsida last month. Photo John Pisani

The driver of a bowser involved in a hit-and-run that killed an elderly pedestrian on 24 May may not be at fault, police sources have told this newspaper, because the driver had stopped at the traffic lights when they turned red.

The accident happened in Valley Road in Msida when 75-year-old Maria McKay, an Msida resident, was hit by a large bowser at the traffic lights crossing. The woman died on the spot but the driver of the bowser did not stop after the accident, and was found later on in Gzira.

Police sources told MaltaToday that the driver had in fact stopped because the traffic lights were red. But at that time of the incident, two women were crossing the road opposite each other. When the lights turned green, the bowser drove without its driver realising that he had driven over McKay, and kept on driving.

From investigations carried out so far, it results that the victim was run over with the rear wheels of the bowser, having carried the victim a few metres off the crossing. It was the other woman who had already crossed the street who found McKay lying on the street after the vehicle left.  

It is not being ruled out that McKay might have turned around and hit the side of the big truck, or that she might have fainted and that the driver was not aware of what had happened.

When the police found the bowser and examined the wheels, they found small pieces of what resulted were human tissue on the back wheel.

“Had this been an intentional hit and run, the driver would have had enough time to clean up the wheel, something that he did not do,” police sources told MaltaToday.

Still, police and court experts are investigating this fatal accident to make sure of all the facts before issuing any charges, if there was any negligence from the driver.

A similar case happened on 1 July, 2013, when at 10am Josephine Bartolo, 69 from Kalkara, died after being hit by a truck in Kalkara. Bartolo had just thrown out some garbage at a bring-in-site in Triq is-Salvaturm when a truck driven by Elton Bowell, 37 from Cospicua, had only passed her and as the victim turned around, hit the side of the truck and fell.

Unbeknownst to the driver, he had crushed the woman’s head with the rear double-wheel and it was from the yelling of passers-by that he stopped to see if something was wrong. He was shocked to see the woman beneath his truck.

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