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Camden New Journal - By CHARLOTTE CHAMBERS
Published: 3 April 2008

Scott Laird
Mystery still shrouds Scotty’s scooter death

Inquest finds no definite cause of tragic collision

THE family of a trainee mechanic who died in a crash last year listened in court as a driver recounted the tragic moment he collided with him.

Donald Gungadoo was driving back from work in August when he was involved in a head-on collision with Scott Laird, 22, in Brecknock Road, Kentish Town.
Mr Gungadoo told St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Thursday he had not spotted Mr Laird’s scooter and only noticed a “dim light” – believed to be his headlight – moments before the crash.
At the time of the crash the street lamps were out of service while a sign warned there was a ramp in the road.
Paramedics pronounced Mr Laird, from Malden Road, Gospel Oak, dead at the scene.
His cause of death was described as “multiple injuries” by coroner Dr Andrew Reid, who ruled Mr Laird died in an accident.
Mr Laird, a father of two, was engaged to marry his childhood sweetheart Kelly Casey this year.
Mr Gungadoo said: “This light just appeared in front of me and there was a big bang.
“It was like a dim light coming towards me in a split second, like someone taking a picture. It was like a flash.
“I got out of the car, I could smell something burning. I got out and I couldn’t walk. I remember a lad leading me to a bus stop and he sat me there.”
Mystery has always surrounded the cause of the crash.
Dr Reid ruled it was more likely Mr Gungadoo was driving on Mr Laird’s side of the road than vice versa.
“On the balance of probabilities at the time of the incident the motorcar involved in the collision was returning to the south bound carriageway and in doing so the collision occurred,” he said.
But investigating traffic police said markings in the road were inconclusive and they had never been able to determine what happened that night.
Detective Sergeant Gary McIver said: “Throughout the whole of the investigation we have not found Scott Laird drove dangerously or carelessly.”
The case has never been closed but DS McIver warned unless witnesses came forward the crash would remain a mystery.
Speaking outside court he said: “It is a tragedy. We still don’t know the answers to this day. We’ve done everything we possibly could but we were hindered by a lack of witnesses and CCTV.”
Mr Laird’s sister Shauna told the court she had spoken to her brother hours before he died. She said: “He had called to see how his kids were doing. He was in a happy mood, he was about to move in with his partner – he was really excited.”
Graffiti tributes to Mr Laird, known locally as “Scotty Malossi” because of his passion for bikes, remained up on walls around his home in Gospel Oak until earlier this year.
His family want to put up a permanent tribute to him at either the site of the crash or near his home.

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