University of Hertfordshire business graduate’s death accidental

PUBLISHED: 16:41 02 December 2010

Coroner's Court.

Coroner's Court.


A UNIVERSITY of Hertfordshire graduate died when he failed to stop at a road junction, an inquest has heard.

A UNIVERSITY of Hertfordshire graduate died when he failed to stop his car at a road junction, an inquest has heard.

Kai Lee, 24, who lived in Cunningham Way, Hatfield, was driving across a junction at Belmont Road in Hemel Hempstead when he collided side on with a transit van.

The impact of the collision threw his red Seat into a telegraph pole. He sustained serious head injuries and died at National Hospital in London, four days after the crash.

At Hatfield Coroners Court this afternoon (Thursday), the court heard how Mr Lee, who had set up his own Papa John’s Pizza franchise and was delivering an order when he crashed, had failed to stop at a Give Way sign.

Van driver Bradley Lancaster, 22, told how he saw Mr Lee’s car “a split second” before the crash, on March 23 this year.

Mr Lancaster said he stopped and immediately called for an ambulance.

A police investigation found that Mr Lancaster, who was visibly distressed during the hearing, had been driving within the speed limit, had not been drinking and was not using a mobile phone at the time of the crash.

Pc Alan McManus, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s road crash investigation team, said tests on Mr Lee’s car showed he had failed to stop at the Give Way sign, driving straight out into the road and in front of the oncoming van.

Mr Lee had been travelling at 22mph at the time of the crash, which would have been “impossible” if he had stopped at the junction.

“We have to conclude he did not stop,” Pc McManus said.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Edward Thomas: “This is a devastating loss for the family. He was obviously a fine young man.”

Addressing Mr Lancaster, he said: “And this is hard for you as well. There’s nothing you could have done.”

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