Patrick Paul Nealon was heavily intoxicated when he struck and killed Nicole Lewanski with his car.
Irish man Patrick Paul Nealon has been found guilty of killing 22-year-old Australian college student Nicole Lewanski after he struck her with his car while he was heavily intoxicated.
On November 8, 38-year-old Nealon was found guilty of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death at the culmination of a three week trial at Downing Centre District Court in Sydney, Australia. He is expected to be sentenced on December 6.
In December 2016, Nealon struck Lewanski, a college student and aspiring librarian, with his car while she was standing on a pedestrian island on Princes Highway in Wolli Creek, a suburb of Sydney. The Irish man was reportedly four times over the legal limit of alcohol at the time of the incident.
Niloy Saha, who was in his car at a traffic light when the accident occurred, told the court that he saw Nealon’s car attempt to make a sudden right turn across three lanes of traffic, fishtail, and mount a pedestrian island before knocking Lewanski into the air.
Saha rushed to the gravely injured woman and cradled her as another bystander attempted CPR.
"I was just holding her, she took her last breath in my arms," Saha told the court. "You just know, when someone's body weight shifts. Sitting in my arms, I felt her last breath."
Saha testified that he saw Nealon exit his car after the incident and that he appeared to have had “more than a few drinks.”
Paul Harrison, who attempted CPR on Lewanski, said Nealon was “very intoxicated and very incoherent.”
Nealon fled the scene but was later found in an incoherent state among the trees in a supermarket parking lot.
Though he reportedly refused to do a roadside breathalyzer test, one ambulance driver told the court that Nealon said he had had “heaps” to drink "maybe 15 schooners of beer.”
Nealon was brought to a nearby hospital where doctors determined he had a .199 blood-alcohol content, nearly four times the legal limit.
Nealon did not apply for bail when he was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death, high-range drink-driving and not stopping at a red light. He pled not guilty to the charges during the trial.
After Lewanski’s death, her brother posted on social media saying: “Nicole's beautiful soul has shed this worldly vessel.
“Alcohol is a cancer upon humanity and we have absolutely no need for it.”