Delivery driver killed five-year-old then carried on to drop off takeaway

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    A delivery driver who knocked down a five-year-old girl as he drove to deliver a takeaway refused to call an ambulance for her as she lay dying in her father’s arms.

    Istvan Zarka hit little Minaal Salam when she stepped out in front of his vehicle shortly after leaving an afterschool club.

    She was carried on the bonnet of Zarka’s Volkwagen Touran for around 10 feet before the vehicle stopped.

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    An inquest into Minaal’s death today heard that as her father, a neurosurgeon, held the dying girl in his arms, Zarka refused the distraught dad's plea to call an ambulance.

    The hearing was told Zarka then carried on for around 60 yards from the scene of the collision.

    He then returned after dropping off the takeaway, reports Stoke on Trent Live, but gave a "no comment" interview to officers at the scene.

    While the he was arrested on suspicion of death by dangerous driving, he was only driving at around 24mph in the 30mph zone.

    He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving without business insurance, the inquest heard.

    But the charge relating to him failing to stop at the scene was later dropped.

    The collision was said by accident investigators to have been "unavoidable", and Minaal, of Edme Grove, in Barlaston, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The hearing heard it was almost 40 minutes before an ambulance arrived.

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    Assistant coroner Emma Serrano, presiding over the inquest into little Minaal's death, said it had been a "tragic accident".

    But during the hearing, Minaal's mother Alia Anum Salam quizzed police over their investigation into the crash.

    PC Matthew Brailsford gave dad Abdus Salam's account of the events of the collision, which happened at around 5.30pm on April 1 last year.

    He said: "Abdus stood at the side of the road and looked both ways four or five times. Minaal took one step out in the road. A car came down the road. He only saw it coming when it was one foot away.

    "Minaal fell forward onto the bonnet. It carried her for about 10 feet before it stopped. He put the car seat down. He held her in his arms.

    "He said to the driver: 'You hit my daughter, can you please help me and call an ambulance?' The driver said 'No, go away' and drove off down the road. Abdus gave CPR and shouted for help. He said it was 20 minutes before anyone came and 20 minutes later before the ambulance came."

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    It is possible that a Mercedes may have impeded the view of both pedestrians and the driver, the hearing heard.

    PC Brailsford added: "Abdus started CPR. He shouted 'You have killed her, you b*****d!' The driver said 'She stepped out.' He didn't speak good English."

    Mum Alia Anum Salam also quizzed Staffordshire Police on whether Mr Zarka had been paying attention at the time of the collision.

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    Addressing PC Brailsford, Mrs Salam said: "I am sorry to say but there are loopholes. You say you don't know but I think you had the right to cross-question the witness or ask more questions like I have."

    The Staffordshire Police investigation included reconstructions and checking for defects on the car.

    Sergeant Ben Foster told the inquest: "At the point the pedestrian stepped off the kerbside the collision was unavoidable. It's my opinion that the driver had insufficient time to avoid the collision and was still in the reaction period."

    A post-mortem examination found Minaal died as a result of a road traffic collision.

    Area coroner Emma Serrano said: "She passed away as the result of an accident. A tragic accident, but nevertheless, it's an accident."

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