Inquest for novice driver

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A LEARNER driver who crashed into a wall may have been racing other cars, an inquest heard.

Javir Yunus Patel and two others drivers were thought to have travelled at up to 84mph shortly before he lost control of the car he was driving in Gomersal on May 9, 2009.

Bradford Coroner’s Court heard the 20-year-old from Savile Town suffered multiple fractures and died at the scene.

Mr Patel, of Orchard Street, had been at a birthday celebration in Bradford and was travelling home with two passengers.

Last Friday, the court heard conflicting evidence about how many other cars were driving to Savile Town but all witnesses agreed something happened to make Mr Patel lose control of the light silver Honda Civic.

Joseph Hall was at the junction of Moor Lane and Dewsbury Road when the car passed.

He said: “It was roughly doing about 70mph. I stopped because I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was going all over.”

PC Ian Harrison was driving along Dewsbury Road towards Birkenshaw and saw the crash.

He described the car slowing as if the driver had taken his foot off the accelerator before the back end began to spin out.

“He was about a metre off the side of our car,” he said. “He was still travelling at a fair speed at impact.”

Pc Harrison called for an ambulance and tried to free Mr Patel before firefighters arrived.

Mr Patel was pronounced dead at 11.30pm at the crash scene.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was a traumatic rupture of the aorta, a main artery in the heart. A report said Mr Patel’s injuries were consistent with not wearing a seatbelt.

A toxicology report also found trace levels of cannabis in Mr Patel’s blood but ruled it was not possible to say if it had affected his driving.

Det Sgt David West, of West Yorkshire Police, said the drivers of a white BMW and a Mini Cooper believed to have been travelling with the Honda Civic were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving but there was not enough evidence to bring charges. He said CCTV from the evening of May 9 showed three cars of that description travelling together from Bradford but it could not be proved for certain that they were the cars driven by the two suspects and Mr Patel.

He said speeds were calculated at as much as 84.7mph and never fell below 50mph, despite speed limits of 30-40mph.

The court heard from the alleged drivers of the two other cars.

Qasim Liaqat, of Scarborough Street, denied the BMW was his car or that he had been in Bradford. He said he drove to the crash scene from Dewsbury after a call from a friend.

Shabana Rashid, of Leamington Terrace, said she pulled up in her Mini Cooper shortly after the crash but had driven at no more than 40mph.

Assistant deputy coroner Michael Bell Coroner recorded a verdict of road traffic injury.

He said he was satisfied that the cars had been involved in an “attempted high-speed return” to Dewsbury.

He said “speed undoubtedly played a part in the loss of control” and wearing a seatbelt may not have stopped the death.

He said he had “very serious concerns” about the first person evidence given and was referring the file to police.

A police spokesman said: “We are reviewing the case and enquiries are ongoing.”