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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Whitstable death crash driver Laurie Hazrati might have suffered from lack of sleep before Pean Hill smash, inquest told

08 March 2014
by Jamie Bullen

A popular young man who died after crashing his car into a telegraph pole might have been speeding because he was sleep-deprived, an inquest heard.

Laurie Hazrati, 22, died last June of injuries suffered in a crash 11 days earlier when he hit the wooden pole and a brick wall in Pean Hill while driving to his Whitstable home.

The hearing heard Mr Hazrati had worked a 10-and-a-half hour night shift on a P&O cross-Channel ferry before visiting a friend's house in Dover for his birthday.

Crash death victim Laurie Hazrati with twin brother Mitchell, left

Crash death victim Laurie Hazrati with twin brother Mitchell, left

After just an hour's sleep, he attended a meeting in Dover before returning to the house to take his friend, Grace Sellars, back to her Canterbury flat.

On the way back to his home in Bennells Avenue, he crashed his Renault Clio into a telegraph pole in Pean Hill after driving at 60mph in a 40mph zone.

Mr Hazrati suffered severe brain damage, broken ribs, shoulder and ankle injuries, a collapsed lung and internal bleeding as a result of the crash.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him at the scene before he was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital where he later died of his injuries.

Pathologist Jo-Anne Chin-Aleong ruled Mr Hazrati's death was caused by a head injury.

The Renault Clio after it had hit hit a telegraph pole and a wall

The Renault Clio after it had hit hit a telegraph pole and a wall

Speaking at his inquest, investigating officer PC Guy Ditcher said tiredness might have influenced why Mr Hazrati lost control of the car before the smash.

He said: "Through his lack of sleep the question is was he in a rush to get home to his bed?"

In a statement read out before PC Ditcher's evidence, Grace Sellars said he often gave her a lift and that he wasn't a "boy racer".

Witnesses on a bus passing in the opposite direction along Pean Hill described how they were left shaken when Mr Hazrati passed them moments before the incident.

In a statement read out, passenger Jack Peilow said: "It all happened so quickly, the car shot by the bus in a flash. I turned my head round to follow the car and it had hit a wheelie bin, I thought he had probably crashed it."

Road in Blean shut by police after Laurie Hazrati hit a telegraph pole

Road in Blean shut by police after Laurie Hazrati hit a telegraph pole

CCTV taken from two buses showed Mr Hazrati lost control of the car as he passed a bend.

One of the drivers, Vasile Buga, speculated on whether or not he was involved in a race as a black car also speeding drove by seconds after Mr Hazrati spun out of control failing to stop at the scene.

PC Ditcher said despite several appeals to speak with the driver they had not come forward to police.

Recording a narrative verdict, assistant coroner James Dillon said: "He was driving his Renault Clio on the A290 at Pean Hill at excessive speed likely to be in excess of 60 mph.

"He may not have slept very much since the preceding day and had worked a night shift and at most had an hour's sleep earlier that morning.

"He lost control and hit a brick wall and a wooden telegraph pole suffering severe injuries."

Laurie Hazrati was described as the life and soul of the party by his mother

Laurie Hazrati was described as the life and soul of the party by his mother

Mr Hazrati's parents were not present at the inquest, so Mr Dillon explained he needed to adjourn the hearing pending identity confirmation from his family.

Speaking last year, his mother Delia described her son as the "life and soul of the party" who wanted to become a full-time musician.

He is also survived by his twin brother Mitchell and older sister Emily, 23.

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