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Paramedic asks "am I going to prison?" after A3 death crash
An apprentice paramedic who parked his ambulance on the A3 asked a police officer, “Am I going to prison?” after a motorcyclist crashed into it and died.
Dentist Rajesh Parkash 43, from Sunningdale, died after hitting the ambulance near Claygate, after paramedics parked to treat a man who had jumped from an overhead bridge on March 14 last year.
Thomas Baverstock, an apprentice paramedic at London Ambulance Service, told an inquest he heard a bang while performing chest compressions on the suicidal man on the northbound carriageway.
He and a colleague immediately rushed to help Dr Parkash, on the southbound side, where the ambulance had been parked in the central reservation.
The inquest heard a file was handed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but neither Mr Baverstock nor his colleague would face prosecution.
John Bate-Williams, representing London Ambulance Service, said the CPS concluded that neither should face charges.
The CPS reviewed their decision by request of Dr Parkash’s family, he said, but did not come to a different conclusion.
Surrey coroner Richard Travers asked him: “When you stopped where you did, did you consider whether you knew where you were going to leave that vehicle was a dangerous position for other road users?”
Mr Baverstock said: “I don’t recall what I thought at that moment now.
“I was aware that due to where I was parking I needed to leave the blue lights on and the hazards. I felt it was quite visible.”
He said he thought he had pulled over further than he did, but the hazard lights were not in fact turned on, the court heard.
Asked if he remembered asking a police officer, “Am I going to prison?” Mr Baverstock said he did.
He added: “I don’t remember why. I remember being in an extreme state of shock and panic, and not thinking straight.”
Dr Parkash, a father of two, was described to the court as “a fun-loving person” with a “gentle and caring manner”.
Dr Parkash’s brother-in-law Naval Mair said: “Raj will be remembered for his great sense of humour.
“Raj was very fond of the culture that he came from, and he took great joy in Indian poetry and classical Indian music as well as popular.”
Dr Parkash was born in Ludhiana in the Punjab in 1970, and moved with his mother and sister to the UK when he was seven, to join his father.
He graduated from King’s College, London in 1993 and practised dentistry as an implantologist.
Mr Mair added: “Raj was a keen motorcyclist. Raj and I did our tests together almost 10 years ago. We went on some journeys together. The south of France and several others.”
A witness to the crash told the inquest: “It all happened very quickly. From what I remember I didn’t see any brake lights, any attempt for him to move out of the way.
“I heard it before I saw it coming round the corner. Watched him go round the sweeping bend.
“I imagine he was looking at what was happening on the other side of the road.”
Dr Parkash’s wife, Ravita, also a dental surgeon, died almost four years ago of swine flu, Mr Mair said.
Dr Parkash had returned from a skiing holiday just days before his death, according to his Facebook page.
When he died he was on his way home from work to see his mother, the court heard.
The inquest continues.
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