Burglar suspected of leaving man dead in N7 horror crash is arrested after hiding out at hotel

Gardaí feared he had provided a false name and were trying to establish his true identity in recent weeks.
Member of Garda Siochana. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Member of Garda Siochana. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Robin Schiller

A BURGLAR suspected of driving a car the wrong way down the N7 before colliding with another vehicle and leaving an innocent man dead has been arrested hiding in a Dublin hotel.

Father-of-three Anatolie Butucel died after a Volkswagen Passat ploughed into his Toyota Yaris on the outbound lane of the dual carriageway in west Dublin last month.

The crash happened after gardaí tried to stop the Passat before it was driven away at speed and on to the N7.

The driver of that car was hospitalised but fled before detectives had a chance to question him.

The 28-year-old suspect has been left using a wheelchair following the collision and managed to discharge himself from Tallaght Hospital with the help of an associate within days.

Gardaí feared he had provided a false name and were trying to establish his true identity in recent weeks.

However, detectives attached to Clondalkin garda station caught up with him on Sunday night at a Dublin hotel where he is thought to have been hiding out over the past two weeks.

The man, who is believed to have a fractured pelvis, was taken to Clondalkin garda station for questioning in relation to the crash, near Kingswood, on September21.

“Because he had left the hospital and gone to ground, there were concerns that he had supplied false information to gardaí,” a source said.

Investigators are now confident they know the identity of the suspect.

“Following enquiries, he was tracked down to a hotel in south central Dublin and arrested there and then on Sunday evening,” the source said.

He has connections to the Tallaght area but has recently been living in another part of south Dublin.

The suspect is known to gardaí in relation to burglaries and public order offences.

Detectives at Clondalkin are continuing to investigate the killer crash.

A Volkswagen Passat had come to the attention of gardaí and failed to stop before mounting a footpath and being driven the wrong way down the dual-carriageway.

It was not being chased when it began driving on the wrong side of the road.

Moments later, it smashed into the Toyota Yaris driven by Mr Butucel.

The Moldovan national (45),who had been living in Crumlin for some time, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Friends of the father-of-three, whose children live in his native country, launched an online fundraising campaign to help return his remains to Moldova.

The Garda Ombudsman (Gsoc) is also investigating the circumstances of the accident after the interaction gardaí had with the Volkswagen Passat moments before the crash.

Sources said the same vehicle had come to the attention of gardaí a week earlier and managed to escape at speed after crossing a Luas line before an oncoming tram block ed gardaí from pursuing.

Gsoc is also continuing to appeal for witnesses in relation to the incident.

“The road traffic collision took place on the N7 dual carriage way outbound near Junction 2 Kingswood between the hours of 12am and 1am on Monday, September 21,” a spokesperson said.

“Gsoc wouldlike to hear from anyone who saw a silver VW Passat in the area or who may have dashcam or mobile footage. GSOC can be contacted at 1890 600 800.”

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