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Nahid Islam: motorcyclist could not avoid collision with schoolboy, says coroner

Inquest told 15-year-old died as he cycled near Queen's Crescent home the day before his birthday

08 June, 2017 — By William McLennan

A CORONER has ruled that a motorcyclist who knocked down and killed a teenage boy on the eve of his 16th birthday could have done nothing to avoid the collision.

Cyclist Nahid Islam suffered fatal injuries after colliding with a high-powered motorbike near the junction with Malden Road in Queen’s Crescent on the afternoon of December 10 last year, an inquest heard on Thursday.

Witnesses told St Pancras Coroner’s Court that Nahid, who lived in Maitland Park Road and attended Regent High School, had turned into the path of the motorbike, but there were conflicting accounts of what happened in the moments before the collision.

One 17-year-old boy, who was a friend of Nahid’s and witnessed the collision, said in a statement to police: “Nahid turned right and then the biker tried to overtake him but hit him from the side.”

But David Young, who was waiting for the 46 bus on Malden Road, told the court that the motorbike “had no chance to swerve” and avoid Nahid.

He added: “The motorbike was right behind him, he didn’t signal he was going to turn right.”

Luke Bromwich, who was riding the Suzuki motorbike, said: “Just before the zebra crossing the cyclist just turned right across my path. I had no indication he was going to change direction.”

He said that Nahid did not look behind or indicate before changing direction.

“I wasn’t really quite sure what had happened,” said Mr Bromwich. “I saw him on the floor so ran over and people just started coming from everywhere. There was chaos as people were screaming.”

Asked if he had begun to accelerate in the moments before the collision, he said: “No, I was holding a steady speed.”

Asked if he would do anything differently, he said: “No. Apart from maybe not leave my house. I tried. I tried to avoid him.”

Fatima Abdikarim was with her son waiting for the 46 bus when the collision happened and rushed to help Nahid.

“As I saw him my legs kind of gave way,” she told the court.

“Then I ran, but not knowing what I was running to. I was shouting, ‘no, no, this can’t be’.

“I’m shouting from the top of my lungs, somebody help me. But nobody would come to help. If you heard somebody shouting, why wouldn’t you come to help? People just went to look, but nobody helped.

“I took my shawl and put my shawl over him. I tucked it in like you would when you tuck your kids into bed.”

PC Simon Mawer, a Met Police collision investigator, said that both CCTV footage taken from a passing bus and the motorbike’s stopping distance “supports a speed of around 20mph”.

He said that Mr Bromwhich had attempted to avoid Nahid, adding: “It is quite obvious that the motorcycle had taken some sort of avoidance. He veered, steered. He has reacted.”

PC Mawer said that Nahid had not been wearing a helmet, but added: “I have no evidence to suggest that his injuries would have been less severe if he had been wearing a helmet.” The cause of death was given as “traumatic head injury”.

The court heard that the first 999 call was received at 2.49pm, but was not passed to the London Ambulance Service until 2.56pm and the first medic arrived at the scene at 3.02pm.

Coroner Mary Hassell concluded: “Just before the zebra crossing Nahid decided he was going to turn right.

Unfortunately he didn’t signal. He didn’t put out his arm and he didn’t look behind him. If he had looked behind him he would have seen the motorcycle.”

Before returning her determination the coroner reminded the court that “the purpose of an inquest is not to blame anybody”.

She continued: “What I find is that this 15-year-old boy just didn’t put out his hand. Then he moved out so quickly that the motorbike rider behind him just couldn’t avoid collision.”

She added: “I find that speed was not a factor, that the likeliest speed of the motorbike was in the region of 20mph.”

She said that she was unsurprised to hear conflicting accounts in the aftermath of such a traumatic event that happened so quickly, adding: “It seems to me even the moments after, recollections are likely to differ, so I did not regard it as an indication that somebody has lied.”

Speaking outside court, Mr Bromwich told the New Journal: “I just wish it never happened. I’d do anything to change it.”

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