Much-loved Sheffield man died after crashing his car at speed into pond, inquest hears

A much-loved young man died after crashing his car at speed into a Sheffield pond, an inquest heard.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 1:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th June 2019, 4:45 pm

Naveed Gill Fazal veered off Abbeydale Road South and through a boundary wall before plunging into the large mill pond behind Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet during the early hours of Saturday, May 19, last year.

An inquest at Sheffield Coroner’s Court today heard how the 20-year-old was travelling at over 60mph in a 40mph zone at the time of the crash.

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Naveed Gill Fazal.

The court also heard evidence that there was an issue with the suspension of the Vauxhall Corsa he was driving.

Coroner Abigail Combes recorded a conclusion that Naveed died as a result of an accident in which he lost control of the car “as a result of excessive speed and damage to the vehicle suspension.”

An earlier inquest heard how the car had been written off in a prior accident before being bought for Naveed by his father in March last year.

Crash investigator Dr Mike Orchard told an earlier hearing that the vehicle was travelling at ‘no less than 62mph’.

Mill pond at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Sheffield, where a 20-year-old man has died after a car left a main road and ended up upside down in the lake. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said the man was the only person in the black Vauxhall Corsa which left Abbeydale Road South, in Sheffield, in the early hours of Saturday morning and ended up in the large mill pond behind the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. See PA story POLICE Lake. Photo credit should read: Dave Higgens/PA Wire

He also said the suspension on the car was so badly damaged prior to the accident that he deemed it to be ‘unroadworthy’.

This previous hearing was adjourned after Naveed’s father asked why an MOT test carried out at a garage some five weeks before the crash had failed to pick up any serious defects.

Usman Hussain, who carried out the MOT test on the Vauxhall, defended his decision to pass the vehicle.

He said that while corrosion or rust was present in the suspension in this case it “would not affect the function of the shock absorbers.”

Naveed’s family also raised concern that there has been a number of accidents on the same stretch of road in the past.

Professor Simon Suvarna, who carried out an autopsy, said water in Naveed's airways suggested he had died from drowning.

The coroner Ms Combes said the evidence showed Naveed was driving “at excessive speed” and that the corrosion in the suspension “contributed to the mechanism of the accident.”

She explained that while the road layout could not be regarded as a contributing factor in the tragedy she will write to Sheffield City Council seeking assurances the “road signage and speed limit is within safe levels.”

Addressing the state of the car Naveed was driving, Ms Combes told the family: “You did everything you could to make sure Naveed was safe in that vehicle.”

The trainee property developer, of Ecclesall Road South, was described as an ‘amazing’, ‘humble’ and ‘kind-hearted’ young man in online tributes shortly after his death.

A fundraising appeal in Naveed’s memory raised nearly £8,000, which was matched by his family, enabling a number of wells to be built in impoverished parts of the world.

A family friend told at the time how nearly 5,000 people had attended his funeral, which she claimed was the biggest ever Muslim funeral held in Sheffield.