Motorist found guilty of killing pal on A5 near Markyate

The case has started in St Albans Crown Court

The case has started in St Albans Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A driver has been found guilty of causing the death of his friend by dangerous driving when he drove into the path of an oncoming lorry.

Sajid Ali, 30, pulled a borrowed VW Touran in front of an oncoming DAF recovery truck that crashed into it on the A5 at Markyate on the night of December 12, 2014.

He had pleaded guilty to causing the death by careless driving of Chaudry Ahmed, who was sitting behind the front seat passenger and was killed after being thrown from the Touran by the impact.

But on Monday (9) Ali, who lives in Watford, was found guilty at St Albans Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving. He will be sentenced on February 3 after reports have been prepared.

Describing Mr Ahmed as a ‘really good friend’, Ali told the court last week: “I feel so bad because of the accident. My friend passed away.


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“I am feeling so sad for his family. They have lost a brother, son and husband. I can’t express in words how I feel ashamed and sad. There is a hole in my life. He died because of my careless driving.

“I wish I could move back time to save his life.”

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The Touran, driven by the defendant and carrying three passengers, was going north to a cash and carry. Meanwhile, the recovery truck was heading from the opposite direction, south from Markyate, to attend a call on the M1, when the crash occurred.

The jury heard that as the two vehicles approached each other and were just yards apart, Ali made a sudden right turn towards the entrance of the Esso Petrol Station forecourt.

Ali, who denied he had been using a mobile phone, told the jury he pulled over to buy soft drinks from the petrol station.

He said: “I indicated to go right. I went into the middle turning lane. I saw lights from the front of me. I thought I had enough time to turn right.

“I heard a bang and the airbag hit my face and I went unconscious.”

After the crash he said he went to where Mr Ahmed was lying, and, “a lady was there praying. She said ‘don’t see him’.”

Ali said he did not understand what the police were saying to him when he was arrested for causing death by dangerous driving. It was not until the next day that his solicitor told him his friend had died.

Earlier, prosecutor Alan Blake said the manoeuvre Ali performed in turning right was highly dangerous and he had crossed the road when it was not safe to do so. The lorry driver simply did not have the time and distance to avoid the collision.

Ali told the court that he was born in Pakistan and came to this country eight a half years ago. He was working part time in a grocery shop and off-licence in Watford at the time of the crash.

Asked by his barrister Sam Parham to describe Mr Ahmed, he said: “He was a friendly person. I had known him for a year. He came to the shop. We were really good friends.

“I feel so bad because of the accident. My friend passed away. I am feeling so sad for his family. They have lost a brother, son and husband. I can’t express in words how I feel ashamed and sad. There is a hole in my life. He died because of my careless driving.

“I wish I could move back time to save his life.”

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