4 Killed in 100mph Police Pursuit While Driver Was ‘High on Drink and Drugs’

The driver of a car which crashed killing all four occupants was twice the legal drink-drive limit and had taken drugs, an inquest has heard.

4 Killed in 100mph Police Pursuit While Driver Was 'High on Drink and Drugs'
4 Killed in 100mph Police Pursuit While Driver Was ‘High on Drink and Drugs’

Murtza Chaudhry, 21, was driving the BMW, which was also carrying Arbaaz Hussain, 21, Zeeshan Khalid, 20 and Tayyab Siddique, 22, when it hit a tree on Toller Lane, Bradford, in 2018.

The car was being followed by police after it overtook marked and unmarked police cars at speed.

Mr Chaudhry was driving a grey BMW at speed down Bingley Road just after 5.30am on Thursday, August 2, 2018, with Arbaaz Hussain in the front passenger seat, Tayyab Siddique in the rear off-side passenger seat, and Zeeshan Khalid in the near-side passenger seat.

Mr Chaudhry, who was disqualified from driving for a drink driving conviction and was not insured to drive the car at the time of the crash, was also twice over the drink drive limit and had taken cocaine and cannabis at the time of the incident.

He had consumed the equivalent of four pints of alcohol before the incident, a post-mortem report, read out during the opening day of the inquest, revealed.

All four men were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, their deaths sending shockwaves around the community and city.

The grey BMW was spotted by officers, PC Robert Hoyle and PC, now Sgt, Benjamin Marrow, in an unmarked police car, and a pursuit followed for the next one minute and five seconds, until the officers saw the car had crashed into a tree on Toller Lane.

The pursuit took in Haworth Road, a long, straight road, where the grey BMW did not appear to want to slow down for the officers.

PC Hoyle said: “The BMW did not slow down. In fact, it probably accelerated.

“At one point I

was travelling at 100mph and it was still ahead.”

PC Hoyle said they followed the car in their unmarked BMW but never managed to close the gap and never got within half-a-mile of the car they were following.

He added he believed the pursuit was ‘justified and proportionate’ when asked by Senior Coroner Martin Fleming during today’s remote hearing from Bradford Coroners Court.

Detective Sergeant Fiona Allen told the inquest that a medium-sized axe was found near the car but could not be linked to any of the occupants. She said another axe was found in a footwell and a knuckleduster was on the rear seat. The detective said small amounts of cocaine and cannabis were also found.

A small quantity of cocaine, worth £90, and cannabis were found at the scene.

The grey BMW was not registered to Mr Chaudhry at the time of the crash, but had been bought by him six weeks before the tragedy, DS Allen confirmed.

In a statement read out in the hearing, witness Usma Khan, who lives nearby, said: “It sounded like a bomb had gone off, it was so loud.”

He added that he saw police officers around the wrecked car and one was repeatedly shouting “find the ‘expletive’ drugs”.

Meanwhile, statements from friends and family of the four men were read out in the hearing.

Mr Chaudhry was passionate about cars and his grandfather described him as a good driver.

Mr Hussain had lots of friends and wanted to start his own business, his mother said. Mr Khalid would help anyone and was always there for his family. Mr Siddique was described as very generous and charitable to others.

Pictures, flowers, boxing gloves and balloons were pinned to the tree in tribute to the men after the crash.

More than 10,000 people gathered for the four men’s funeral service in Scotchman Road, Bradford, where the Imam delivered a speech. The inquest could last up to a further four days.