‘Good-hearted’ security guard killed in Barking crash was above the speeding and drug driving limit
PUBLISHED: 17:39 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:40 25 September 2018
A 21-year-old security guard killed in a crash while behind the wheel in Barking was above the speeding and drug driving limit, an inquest has heard.
Saif Ali Chaudhary was driving a red BMW when he swerved to avoid hitting a white Vauxhall Astra on the A406 North Circular Road between Jenkins Lane and Fresh Wharf Road, on December 3, 2016.
Today an inquest into his death at Walthamstow Coroners’ Court heard police had concluded the BMW was travelling between 53mph to 71mph while Gezim Xhafa, who obtained his licence seven months before, said he was doing 55mph to 65mph. Both were in a 50mph zone.
Both had taken cannabis with Mr Chaudhary’s level above the point where driving becomes affected.
He died of severe head and chest injuries after smashing into the central reservation and hitting a lampost.
The inquest heard the Astra driver, Mr Xhafa, was almost alongside Mr Chaudhary when he started moving into his lane.
Both drivers lost control as they tried avoiding each other.
Recalling the crash, Mr Xhafa, said: “Through the back window I could see the BMW but don’t remember much after that.”
Turning to Mr Chaudhary’s tearful family, he ended: “We were both at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Mr Chaudhary’s sister described her brother as always smiling. “He was a loving man, good-hearted man,” she said.
Coroner Nadia Persaud said: “It is so tragic to lose someone so young in these circumstances.”
The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute Mr Xhafa for dangerous driving and Ms Persaud said she wouldn’t refer the case back to police.
She said it was uncertain whether Mr Xhafa used his mirrors or if he saw the BMW but failed to appreciate its speed before his manoeuvre. It was possible he was indicating at the time.
“Mr Xhafa has provided little substantive evidence. Without his evidence this is all speculation,” Ms Persaud said.
She added Mr Chaudhary, who lived in Walthamstow, likely had some level of impairment because of the cannabis.
Ms Persaud said to his grieving family: “You are one of the most dignified families I have seen.”
The cause of death was recorded as being the result of a road traffic collision.