Passenger in Hatfield death smash thanks his 'Hero' rescuers

A PASSENGER who survived a head-on car crash, in which his friend died, has thanked the heroes who saved him. Manish Bhatia was in a Vauxhall Corsa that crossed on to the wrong side of Comet Way, in Hatfield and went into a van. The car caught fire and wi

A PASSENGER who survived a head-on car crash, in which his friend died, has thanked the heroes who saved him.

Manish Bhatia was in a Vauxhall Corsa that crossed on to the wrong side of Comet Way, in Hatfield and went into a van.

The car caught fire and within minutes exploded, killing Suraj Bhayani.

Manish told Hatfield Coroners' Court last week that if it weren't for officers from Herts police, and passers-by, who rushed to the car to try and pull the two teens out, he too would have died.


You may also want to watch:


"My thanks go to all for what these people did," he said.

"They ignored their own personal safety."

Most Read

The accident happened at 8.15pm on Monday, October 13, when the pair were driving to the University of Hertfordshire to see Suraj's sister Sonam.

Nineteen-year-old Suraj was heading northbound coming off the A414, onto Comet Way - a road he was unfamiliar with.

As he went round a bend he overtook Christine Goodey's black Renault Twingo and within seconds hit the van.

Christine told the court she didn't believe he was overtaking.

"He seemed in no urgency, I was expecting him to brake and pull back in," she said.

At the point of impact the Harrow teenager was travelling at 23mph and the van at 41mph.

Suraj was unconscious, due to the carbon monoxide fumes, and crushed against his wheel.

First on the scene included lorry driver Martin Gage and detective inspector Glen Channer.

Coroner Edward Thomas, praised their "heroic efforts", but added there was no way Suraj could have been saved "without using serious cutting equipment".

As he recorded a verdict of accidental death he said to the family: "Nothing I can say can take away your grief.

"Roads can be deceptive that's why markings are there.

"Suraj was probably concentrating on seeing his sister, rather than being fully on the road, and that is why he overtook at an inappropriate time.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter