‘I have brought unimaginable grief’ says drink driver

by Staff Reporter

A driver who was slightly over the drink driving limit when he fatally struck a woman walking home at night has been jailed for two years.

Marjo Cayabyab, 27, was “two points” over the legal alcohol limit when he hit two women at they crossed the Hartstown Road in Clonsilla on January 3, 2016.

Care workers Claire Hewitt and Ann Keating had left the nearby Hartstown Inn pub at around 2am and were walking home. The car spun out of control and the side of the car hit both women, who had nearly made it across the road.

Both women were taken to hospital where Ms Hewitt was pronounced dead within the hour.

Cayabyab of Beechwood Downs, Hartstown pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the collision took place near a dangerous bend where there has since been another fatality. Speed ramps are now in place.

Cayabyab was tested and found to be “slightly over the legal limit” with 37 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit at the time was 35.

Forensic investigators were unable to determine the speed of the car but concluded it was being driven at excessive speed for the wet road conditions.

The court heard that Cayabyab has no other convictions. He is devoutly religious and has been ostracised by his church since the incident.

After his arrest he told gardai he wanted to ask the victim’s family for forgiveness. He admitted having two rum drinks at a party at his house earlier that night.

“I have brought unimaginable grief and pain to two families and shame on my own family,” he said, adding that the court’s ruling would be nothing compared to the “enormous guilt I must live with for the rest of my life”.

David Hewitt, the deceased woman’s husband, said Cayabyab’s late admissions were hard on the family.

He said family outings and birthdays were now trips to the graveyard.

Ms Keating said the incident changed her life forever. Her injuries included fractured ribs and pelvis and liver lacerations and she was hospitalised for four months.

Judge Martin Nolan said Cayabyab was going much too fast in a built-up area. He imposed a four-year driving ban noting he is a “moral man with a conscience”.

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