DUI+RIP=Rot in Jail

jail 29-year-old Diarmuid O’Brien, a native of Ireland, was heading home from work last night when he ran into Kadri Atalay. Or rather Atalay ran into him. Too bad it was just after bar closing time and Atalay, allegedly intoxicated, was in too much of a hurry to get to wherever the hell he was going to follow the speed limit or other traffic laws, such as you don’t attempt to pass other cars on city streets by swerving into the oncoming lane. Asshole. I wouldn’t be surprised if his lights were off.

O’Brien’s car was struck head-on by the Mercedes SUV driven by Atalay. After sandwiching his victim into a parked car, the dickhead careened further down Wisconsin Ave. before hitting another parked car and flipping his own vehicle onto its roof. The accident scene forced officers to keep several blocks closed to all traffic until 9:30am this morning.

O’Brien was rushed to Washington Hospital Center, but he did not survive. I suppose it would be stereotypical to point out the irony that he was killed by a drunk driver so close to Washington National Cathedral (yes, I’m aware that it’s non-denominational).

Atalay suffered only minor injuries (naturally) but faces a charge of 2nd-degree murder. I hope he rots in jail for a long, long time.

31 Comments so far

  1. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 6:48 am

    It really is unfair that inebriation slows a person’s reaction time, allowing him to relax until after an impact such as this, and thus have a better chance for survival. It would be more just for a drunk driver to be likely to die on impact. Second degree murder is no light charge and if convicted he will likely die in prison long before his time. My understanding is that drunk driving resulting in a death is one of those crimes that is looked on with disdain by most prisoners.


  2. Doug (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 11:09 am

    When I was in High School, my girlfriend’s two sisters and one of their boyfriends were all killed by a drunk driver who was coming in the other direction at 80mph at night with no lights on. They were turning left into a parking lot and never saw him. The driver was fine, of course. I have lost many other friends to drunks in a similar way. Needless to say, I despise these people and to this day when I see someone driving at night with their lights off I scream at them to “turn your fucking lights on!”


  3. Jason (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

    A minor and less important point:

    National Cathedral is Episcopalian.


  4. Doug (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

    Ah, thanks for the correction. I had a hard time finding that information and was under the impression it was open to all faiths–I’m not a religious person so…

    More info @ http://www.pecf.org/


  5. Stacey (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

    Most everyone here knows that I was hit by a drunk driver about a year and a half ago. The kid (yes kid, at 25 years old) had THREE prior DUIs. We are still in the courts with this one as he is being charged with three felonies: hit and run (yes, he left), DUI, and disabling his alcohol-content vehicle starter. Yes, he had one of these and disabled it – a clear sign that he INTENDED to drive intoxicated.

    Unlike many drunk driving accidents, the kid was very hurt for the short term and they did not think he would survive. He has and is now okay. I only the other hand, while having much more minor of injuries, will have to live with them the rest of my life.

    Please don’t drink and drive – I don’t think any drunk driver that has had any sort of consequence (an accident, tickets, injury, etc.) will EVER say that it was worth the XX number of drinks they had.


  6. Doug (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    I too have personal experience with this. In 1987 a friend of mine and I were on a motorcycle, again, late at night, just blocks from our destination. The car in front of us signaled and began to turn right. Like anyone else, we began to pass her to the left. Despite the fact that this was her neighborhood as well, she suddenly realized that she needed to go left instead, and aborted her right turn as we were along side her. She never saw us, and later claimed to the police that she “thought a deer had hit her.” I knew who this girl was, and when we investigated it later it was found that she had been out at the bars for hours before the accident, yet the cops never asked her if she’d been drinking or tested her. There were no witnesses so we had no case against her.

    My friend flew off the bike and plowed into a telephone pole. He suffered a severe head injury and was in ICU in a coma for three months. From the very beginning his chances of survival were grim, yet he came out of it and is relatively okay now.

    I was shot down the street for an entire block like you see in the movies. By the time I stopped skidding my clothes had been stripped completely off, followed by my skin–the worse road-rash you can imagine. I also had a broken leg and ruptured my spleen. Once out of surgery and able to handle a wheelchair, I would go over to ICU to talk to my friend and after being released I spent the rest of the summer going back to see him until, miraculously, he woke up.


  7. sa-ra (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 12:55 am

    it’s terrible what happenned.

    i no longer dui, even acceptable limits are unacceptable now. this is after a friend walking a step ahead of me got hit by drunk kids on suv and was close to becoming disabled. noone should experience that emergency room trip.


  8. Carol Gould (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 7:58 pm

    I stayed at the Marriott 1900 Conn for three months in 04 before finding an apartment. I got to know the lovely Irish staff at the hotel ( part of a parent company in Ireland) and then we stayed friends when I came back here to England. I am in shock, as are the former DC Marriott staff here in London. I also knew Alan Senitt who was murdered in Georgetown this past July and I was the last person to film Officer Joe Pozell who died in May 05 at his Wisconsin Avenue corner. What a sad time it has been for you Washingtonians, what with the death of Chris Crowder and so many others. When I was there this past summer there was a crime ‘state of emergency.’ I wish peace and tranqullity would return to the District. God rest Duiarmuid O’Brien’s young soul.


  9. Doug (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 8:05 pm

    This local ABC affiliate Web page has video with more information on the victim and the accident:

    http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0207/398045.html


  10. Jo (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 6:39 am

    I knew Diarmuid – he was an exceptional guy. Rest in Peace friend.


  11. tabbythesam (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 7:07 am

    I know the driver that caused the accident. I don’t know why this happened but he is not what you think he is. He just made a bad choice that night. I am positive his heart is now heavy having to bare the tragedy of taking anothers life. That in itself is prison.


  12. Mik (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 7:39 am

    He’s good friends with John Kelly over at Four Courts, not to mention a few of the guys at The James Joyce in Baltimore. A very sad day indeed.


  13. Eileen O'Connor (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:41 am

    I work in in an emergency room in a busy Dublin Hospital and have all too often seen the results of such foolish and irresponsible behaviour, unfortunately this time it has brought it nearer to home as I have known Diarmuid for many years. Its all very hard to believe. I know we should all forgive but its quiet a hard thing to do when you see the suffering that is left behind. This is a very hard time for all of us from Newmarket and all Diarmuids Family and large group of friends.


  14. Eileen (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:50 am

    I know we should forgive but it is a very hard thing to do, especially when you see the devastating results of what is left behind. I do hope Kadrai Atalay gets the toughest sentence possible as people just don’t seem to realise the consequences of their actions. I have known Diarmuid and his family for many years, he was the same age as me. We are all finding it very hard to take in what has happened. My thoughts are with Diarmuids family and all his large circle of friends. There are still some very difficult days ahead as Diarmuids body has yet to come home to rest in peace.


  15. Doug (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

    We are sorry for you loss Eileen. I did not know Diarmuid, but from what I understand he was a well liked young man and will be missed.


  16. R Crosby (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

    I, like alot of others have known Diarmuid since 2002 when he worked with us during an internship in Baltimore. I remember when I frist met him, I had to go around and ask others- What did Diarmuid just say, because I couldnt understand his thick Irish accent. As the months went by he developed a close friendship with all of us. We would hang out or play golf as much as we could. I wish everyone could have a friend like Diarmuid, he was the type of person who would do anything for anyone and not even give it a second thought. When he went back to Ireland he was missed more like a brother than a friend. We saw him about 1 year ago at a wedding of a mutual friend, then I heard about 6 months ago he was coming back to the states. Since coming back I had seen him a few times, most recently a couple of weeks ago since he and I worked in close proximity of one another. Its hard to believe he is gone and by something and someone so senseless. Its a shame that someone like him Diarmuid was taken away from us at an early age. You will never be forgotten by you friends in the states. You are one great guy! Rest in Peace my friend, Rest in Peace!


  17. Doug (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

    Amen, brother.


  18. Anonymous (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:00 pm

    I knew Diarmuid and dated him briefly. He was a nice guy. If you knew him, you would feel grateful to have known him. He told me that every since he was young, he wanted to live in America and become an American. He also told me that he wanted his children to be born here. It is heartbreaking to see someone so young and so kind leave us so soon. RIP Diarmuid.


  19. Doug (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

    Wow, what an outpouring of grief and support over the loss of this young man. I really had no idea I would get this kind of reaction when I posted the article.

    When I read about the accident, it struck a nerve. So I felt compelled to bring up the issue. I’m glad that his friends have found this spot to post comments on how they knew him and loved him.


  20. Nathan Deck (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 12:56 am

    As agreed with most, it is a senseless and tragic accident. I will be the first to admit that in my past and even occasionally still, that I have tempted fate with driving while under the influence. After losing my good friend Diarmuid that fate will no longer be tempted. It still angers me that someone could be this reckless. Traveling at such a ridiculously excessive speed, while intoxicated to that degree. A family man at the age of 42, what justification or reasoning could one possibly have? It is unwarranted and certainly an untimely death.

    To Diarmuid’s loved ones back home, please know that he is an amazing young man and a loyal friend. He will be severely missed and never forgotten. I worked with Diarmuid at the Marriott Waterfront years ago and became close friends. He was our 5th roommate over on Light St. and considered part of our family. I last saw Diarmuid prior to the holidays in December, a reunion well overdue! We were truly blessed to have him in our lives and I will always hold onto his memory.

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. God bless!


  21. anonymous (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 12:22 am

    First and foremost, I would like to express my condolences to the family of O’Brien. It truly is a tragedy to see something like this happen, something that is so sudden and shocking…that you could never expect.

    But to the original poster, what,do you think Kadri is proud of what he did? Do you think he is sitting there smiling about what he did? I happen to know the guy, and I can assure you he is at this moment resting his head in his hands wishing he could have that night back to change it. Calling him an asshole and a dickhead and hoping that he rots in jail is truly disgusting. Would you say that about a member of your family who accidently killed someone else?

    Again, I am in no way justifying Kadri’s actions,he was drunk and he must face consequences, but how about looking at both sides of the situation? It’s such a shame that it’s in mankind’s nature to label a man such vulgar things if he is the cause of death of another person, even if the man truly did not mean for any such thing to happen. He never meant to kill anyone, he’s not an evil person. He’s a good person who made a bad mistake. I know i’ll take heat for speaking for him, and remember im not justifying his actions, just his personality. He is not a dickhead or an asshole, and hoping that he rots in jail while his family has to deal with people like you branding him, it’s so unnecessarily typical. Once again, i have to hammer this idea into your head because you probably think im backing up what Kadri did, i am in no way condoning this. I have had both perspectives, you evidently haven’t. If you knew him you wouldn’t say such things.


  22. Doug (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 5:52 am

    I was voicing my opinion from the point of view of a person who has been there. I’ve had my bones broken, my skin ripped off and my organs ruptured, by the careless ineptitude of someone else’s reckless behavior. And from a person who has lost friends, many friends, to the same.

    I understand that you want to defend your friend, and that he feels remorse. I really don’t care. I’ve been to too many funerals to feel any forgiveness for such people.

    If you’re going to drink, DO NOT DRIVE. Use the Metro, catch a bus, hail a cab, call a friend, walk, anything else!


  23. a friend (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

    I think we all wish Kadri could have that night back and change it. But unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to bring Diarmuid back, nothing. There is nothing that can erase the unnecessary heartache of his family and friends, of his poor wee sister coming to terms with losing her dear brother (http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=1534749880). Nothing can right this, ever.

    I don’t think there’s anyone the world over that had a bad thing to say about Diarmuid–it’s always the good eggs who leave us too soon.

    Rest in peace, dear Diarmuid. Rest in peace.


  24. Vance (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

    I’m curious, why is the defendant charged with 2nd-degree murder and not manslaughter?


  25. Doug (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

    Anyone more knowledgeable in criminal law is free to step in here and correct me, but my best guess is the DA’s office decided to go after this guy in the harshest possible way, given the nature of the incident. Further, I imagine his attorneys will plea bargain the charge down to manslaughter. Either way, Mr. Atalay is looking at some serious jail time.


  26. aine Tynan (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 9:05 pm

    I knew diarmuid also,
    I worked with him in the quality hotel in youghal co.cork in ireland. he was commin home to us this week and we arranged to have one of our own drinking sessions and have a great time to catch up on what he has been doing over in the us. i was only talking to him the night before, where we caught up on the good old times. i am going to miss a dear friend and the warmest of hearts that he had. for the type of person he is no one else in the world could come close to replacing him. if you knew him you would know that this man was exceptional and flattered every one and everything that he came across. he was a joker and had this smile that by looking at him would make you smile too.
    i wish that the man who killed such a dear friend of mine is brought to justice and remembers every bit of that night for the rest of his life.
    he took away the most wonderful caring person i have ever known. i have never cried so much in all my life than i have for diarmuid.
    I hope that everyone remembers him for who he was and how he had such more to give in life. he loved hotel work and enjoyed meetting and greeting people. behind the scenes he was a great manager to work for and you would respect him as he treated you with respect. he was going places in life and it has been taken away..
    Rest in Peace Mo Chara,
    will never forget you and the smiles and joy you brought into mylife for just being you. love you always xx


  27. Judy conway (unregistered) on February 28th, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

    Hi Doug — whats up?


  28. Doug (unregistered) on February 28th, 2007 @ 4:33 pm

    Judy! How in the hell did you happen to find me here?


  29. marie (unregistered) on March 1st, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

    im dairmuids little sister marie, well everybody had to be smaller than dairmuid or’ chubby’ as he was known to his family and friends.. to all ye heartless people standin up for the reckless fu*ker that murdered my brother.. i hope ye never have to go threw what i have been threw.. todays the 1st of march and dairmuid was due to come home to ireland today to be grooms man for his friend in galway and then come home to us on the 4th.. the hardest thing to come to grips with is that dairmuid had nothin to do with the crash he wasnt the one drunk behind the wheel and he wasnt speedin.. so how do my family and i go on with our lives?? were do we go from here??
    i know people are sayin that your man didnt set out to kill dairmuid and that hes a ‘family’ man who has two children but how wud he like it if i got into my SUV three times over the limit and speeding and murdered one of his children??
    including dairmuid there are 8 in our family now when we go for meals out and ‘all’ our family are there we are missin the biggest member of our family my biggest brother chubby..
    so if someone whos standing up for your man who stole my brother from me could tell me were im ment to go from here and how im supposed to go on.. it would be fuc*ing fantastic!!


  30. Doug (unregistered) on March 1st, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

    My heart goes out to you Marie, and the rest of your family and all of Dairmuid’s friends back in Ireland.


  31. judy conway (unregistered) on March 5th, 2007 @ 7:31 am

    Hey doug, I googled your name, thats how! whats your email? or better yet, here’s mine, tjconway@bellsouth.net.



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