Death driver's fine of just €1,340 is 'outrageous'
Published 29/10/2013 | 11:44
WEXFORD CELEBRITY chef Kevin Dundon has described the €1,340 fine handed down to the driver of a vehicle which ran into a car carrying his relatives, leading to the deaths of two of his nieces and a nephew, as 'outrageous'.
Just prior to going on the Saturday Night Show, a tweet was posted by Dunbrody House Hotel stating: 'How evil-minded and cruel can some people be? This can guy,' referring to the driver Lasse Burholt's Facebook page link.
Burholt was driving at 125 km/h in an 80 km/h zone when he collided with a car driven by Maria O'Shea, killing Soren (11), Saoirse (9) and Connor (3).
Maria, (who is Mr Dundon's wife Catherine's sister-in-law), survived along with nine-month-old baby Torben.
Burholt walked free from court on Thursday after being handed down a 10,000KR (€1,340) fine and will be allowed on the road again if he passes a driving test after three years.
Maria read out a statement on the steps of the court after the verdict. She said 'it is hard to say anything positive or adequate' about the Danish legal system.
'We've lost three children,' she said.
'Soren, Saoirse and Connor were violently taken from us that day in July. They were 11, 9 and 3 years and a world of opportunities and dreams were turned off for all eternity.'
The accident occurred near Sindal, North Jutland in July. Maria was driving and was taking a left turn when Burholt's vehicle slammed into the side of her car while he was travelling 45kph over the speed limit.
Deputy chief prosecutor Torben Kauffmann Sorensen told the Herald that a custodial sentence was not sought as fines were the standard sentence in cases of this type in Denmark.
Mr Sorensen said that though police found that Burholt's speeding was 'the main cause of the accident' prosecutors had to take into account the left turn taken by Maria.
Dubliner Brian O'Shea, the brother of Mr Dundon's wife Catherine, described the fine and three-year conditional driving suspension received by Burholt, aged 39, as 'absolutely outrageous'.
He told the Herald that Maria was permitted to read a statement in court, adding: 'She was absolutely amazing. The kids would have been so proud of her. The judge had tears in his eyes. I feel vindicated by the fact that Burholt has been found guilty. However, the penalty really sickens me.
'He should have been leaving court in a paddy wagon after what he did.'
Speaking on the Saturday Night Show Mr Dundon said it emerged in the courtroom that Burholt had been texting at around the time of the crash.
He said his children and the entire extended family have been left devastated by the loss of the three children, adding that the tragedy once again highlights the dangers of speeding, as well as texting or talking on the phone while driving.