Young man says he 'hates himself' over drunk-driving fatality

The 20-year-old charged with negligently causing the death of 19-year-old Tim Scholten and injuring seven other people was granted bail 

One man was killed, and seven more injured when he crashed last week
One man was killed, and seven more injured when he crashed last week

The 20-year-old drunk-driver who killed a pedestrian and injured seven others when he lost control of his car last week was granted bail.

Michael Caruana Turner, 20, a fitness coach from Birkirkara was charged with negligently causing the death of 19-year-old Tim Scholten, slightly injuring seven other people, driving recklessly and driving drunk.

Lawyer Joe Giglio entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of the accused.

READ MORE: Eight hospitalised, one 'very critical', after car mounts pavement in St Julian’s

In a statement read out in court, Caruana Turner said he “hates himself” for causing the tragedy.

“I hate myself because he died because of me. I can’t imagine what his family must be going through…I would like to give his family compensation, it is the least I can do. Even if I have to work for the rest of my life. He shouldn’t have died, I should have died,” Caruana Turner’s statement read.

Lawyer Joe Giglio entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of the accused, and he was placed under house arrest after he was arraigned this morning.

The accused was in Paceville and heading to Balluta to visit his grandmother that night. He was speeding, said the inspector, and mounted the pavement, hitting eight pedestrians.

“He was drunk and driving fast. The pavement was high - you had to be going really fast to mount it.”

The police said the accident, which took place at around 4.50am, happened when the youth lost control of the Subaru Impreza and injured a number of pedestrians who had been walking on the St Julian's-Sliema promenade.

Michael Caruana Turner (Photo: Instagram)
Michael Caruana Turner (Photo: Instagram)

Four Danish men aged between 19 and 25, two Croatian women aged 21 and 23, and two 25-year-old Englishmen were taken to Mater Dei Hospital for medical care after the accident.

 “I don’t think his place is in prison,” said inspector Trevor Micallef, candidly.

Lawyer Joe Giglio concurred, saying that incident was “tragic for everyone.” On bail, the lawyer said there was no risk of the accused absconding as the man had strong family ties to the island. There cannot be any tampering with evidence as all the witnesses accounts were heard by an expert in the inquiry. The accused also had a clean criminal record, said the lawyer.

Giglio read from the man’s statement. “ ‘When I was going home I felt tired but felt I could drive. It was only a two-minute drive.’
His lawyer said he would carry the burden of the tragedy for the rest of his life.

The accused shed tears of anguish as his lawyer read out his statement.

“I cannot get it off my conscience, I cannot live with the fact that this happened…he looked like a good kid. I am destroyed,” Caruana Turner wrote.

“Let me make myself clear,” said the magistrate. “4am is not a time for young people to be outside…you will consume more alcohol. Then we end up in situations with alcohol impeding our brain…it will make you do things you wouldn’t normally do. Secondly, speed kills. The speed limit is 80km/hr…better to drive slower than have an accident.”

“I have to pass on a message that there is laxity in society and this must end once and for all. Until we introduce discipline, people will continue to die.”

Caruana Turner was placed under house arrest, ordered to sign a bail book three times a week and deposit €2,000, as well as provide a personal guarantee of €10,000.

He was also banned from driving until the case was decided. “Walk to the police station. It will do you good,” quipped the court.

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