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Scooter rider's death crash was tragic accident

PUBLISHED: 12:45 04 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:55 07 September 2010

A GRIEVING family say they have been left with more questions than answers after the inquest into the death of a trainee mechanic

Ben McPartland

A GRIEVING family say they have been left with more questions than answers after the inquest into the death of a trainee mechanic.

Father-of-two Scott Laird died on August 24 last year when the scooter he was riding was involved in a head-on collision with a car on Brecknock Road in Kentish Town.

At an inquest into the 22-year-old's death last Thursday coroner Dr Andrew Reid ruled that Mr Laird died as the result of an accident.

Dr Reid said this was caused because the motorist had swerved into the opposite northbound lane to avoid road works at around 9.20pm.

But motorist Donald Gungadoo, who was involved in the fatal collision, had earlier said he had only driven his Nissan car on the southbound lane.

Mr Laird's sister Shauna said the family were still not satisfied after the inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court.

She said: "What has really upset the family is that there are clearly some discrepancies. I wish there was a bit more evidence and I wish there had been someone else on that street who saw what happened - because it is just Scott's word against his and obviously Scott is not here.

"We are glad it's over because at least Scott can rest now but some things do not make sense."

Despite police appeals after the accident and an appeal from the family, no witnesses to the collision ever came forward.

Delivering his verdict of accidental death, Dr Reid said: "On the balance of all probabilities and on the evidence I have heard at this inquest, I am satisfied the motor car involved in the collision was returning to the southbound carriageway and in doing so the collision occurred."

The coroner based his findings on evidence from PC Richard Clark of the Euston Traffic Garage, who investigated the crash.

PC Clark said tyre marks indicated that the motorist was returning to the southbound side of the road after swerving to avoid an area where the road had been dug up.

He said: "There was nothing intrinsically wrong with what they (the Highways Agency) had done with the road. They had not left it in a dangerous condition. He didn't really need to avoid it."

But Mr Gungadoo, who has not driven since the accident, told the court: "I carried on my side of the road all the way through. It was just like a light coming towards me. I just saw a flash. I suppose it was the headlights of the scooter. Then there was a big bang. I didn't know it was a bike I just saw a light and then there was a collision."

Police investigations also confirmed Mr Laird, from the Denton Estate, Kentish Town, had not been speeding or driving dangerously and had no alcohol in his blood.

After the inquest Mr Gungadoo sent a message to the family. He told the Ham&High: "I wanted to say something to the family after the inquest but obviously they were very distressed. I understand that.

"As far as I know I didn't do anything wrong but I still feel for them. I am a family member myself. I share their grief."

Police said they have now closed their investigation.

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk

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