Truck driver skipped red light before hitting and killing Sheffield student
Mohammed Elashry, a 20-year-old international student from Kuwait, collided with an Arthur’s Skip Hire truck on the toucan crossing outside the Alfred Denny building at the University of Sheffield on 27 February 2018. He died two days later after suffering a traumatic head injury. Police sergeant Mark Brady from South Yorkshire Police told an inquest into Mr Elashry’s death at the Medico Legal Centre on Monday that the driver, Dean Lindley, tested positive for cannabis during a roadside drugs test.
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Mohammed Elashry, who had moved from Kuwait to study in Sheffield.
A blood test taken later that day at a police station showed Mr Lindley, a HGV driver of 23 years, was three tenths below the legal limit for marijuana.
The inquest heard Lindley was about 40 metres away from the lights when they turned from green to amber and, travelling at around 30mph, could have stopped safely. This was confirmed by a police reconstruction. No defects were discovered on the vehicle which could have prevented it from stopping safely, either.
Giving evidence, PC Taylor from South Yorkshire Police said: “I’ve no doubt that the vehicle could have stopped before the stop line had the driver reacted accordingly.” Police found no evidence of Mr Lindley slowing down or breaking before the collision. Mr Lindley said he did not notice the lights change to amber until he was approaching the crossing.
He added: “I thought it was too dangerous for me to try and stop and jumping on brakes [sic] with having a full load on.” He also claimed he never received “any training” on driving skips safely while working for Arthur’s Skip Hire despite company records suggesting otherwise. The inquest heard the traffic lights were on red when Lindley drove through them.
They were still on red for pedestrians, too, and PC Taylor said Mr Elashry did not appear to look to his right before he stepped out onto the road. Despite the HGV truck being fitted with two dash cams, only footage from one of them was able to be retrieved. PC Taylor said: “I’m not an expert on media but it suggests that the evidence on that dash cam could have been deleted.”
On that allegation, Mr Lindley replied: “I can’t explain that. They wasn’t [sic] touched by me.” Mr Lindley has never been charged with a criminal offence in relation to the collision.
He told the court: “I have got the fight that I have been living with the fact that I killed somebody for two years.” There was no evidence he or Mr Elashry were on their phones at the time of the collision, PC Taylor added. Andrew McNamara, who represented the Elashry family in court, asked assistant coroner Tanyka Rawden to consider a verdict of unlawful killing, but she recorded a verdict of road traffic collision.
Ms Rawden said: “I don’t feel that there was such a disregard for life and the safety of others as to amount to a crime.”
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