Driver acquitted of reckless driving after fatal crash with A35

A DRIVER was found not guilty of causing death by reckless driving following an accident on the A35 in which a grandfather died.

Fahd Baakza, 34, was driving a Nissan Micra when he drove to Bridport Picnic Area to find food on the evening of Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Baakza drove on the A35 eastbound and maneuvered into a filter lane to turn right towards the site, also known as the Eype junction. The area has no street lighting or CCTV cameras.

He was behind an Audi Q3 turning at the same intersection. After the Audi driver made his way to the entrance to the picnic area, Baazka crossed the roadway and collided with Victor Samways’ Ford Fiesta, a court heard.

Victor Samways, 74, died in an accident on the A35 near Eype in January 2019. Photo: family document

Baakza’s Micra was thrown across the road.

After exiting his vehicle, Baakza attempted to attract the attention of an oncoming Volkswagen Transporter van to avoid another collision.

But the van struck Mr. Samways’ unlit vehicle on the westbound roadway.

Bournemouth Crown Court has learned that a truck driver who witnessed the crash described hearing a “loud bang” and likened the collision to the van “hitting a brick wall”. Mr. Samways, of Puncknowle, died at the scene.

Baakza, of Dorset Street, London, was tried at Bournemouth Crown Court after denying a charge of causing death by reckless or reckless driving.

Prosecutor Thomas Evans had argued that the headlights on Mr. Samways’ Fiesta were on and his vehicle was spotted on CCTV with its lights on at the Crown Roundabout, about a mile away.

Dorset Echo: Road closure on Crown Roundabout.  Photo: Bridport NewsRoad closure at the Crown roundabout. Photo: Bridport News

He previously described a theory that Mr. Samways was driving without lights on on a dark road as “absurd”.

A police investigation into the headlights of the Ford Fiesta concluded that due to the hot filament of the headlight bulbs, it was likely that they were on at the time of the first collision.

The Audi driver, called as a witness, confirmed that she was successful in the picnic area, but could not recall if there was oncoming traffic.

Defending Baakza, Nicholas Tucker questioned that the vehicle’s headlights were on and argued that this was the reason Baakza could not see Mr. Samways’ vehicle.

Dorset Echo: The collision site on the A35 near the entrance to the Bridport and Eype picnic area.  Image: GoogleThe site of the collision on the A35 near the entrance to the Bridport and Eype picnic area. Image: Google

Speaking to PC Edge at Dorset Police, he previously said: ‘Visibility of a car at night is usually aided by having the headlights on against a very dark background.

“Generally speaking, you could say that it would be easier to see an oncoming car at night.”

Baakza, who described himself as a “careful” driver, denied seeing Mr. Samways’ vehicle.

Forster J. summarized the evidence in which the jury had to consider and characterized the death of Mr. Victor Samways as “tragic”.

After two hours and 29 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

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About Coy Lewallen

Coy Lewallen

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