Tragic four-vehicle crash in car wash left mum with fractured spine

The incident happened at Hand Car Wash in Belgrave Road, Leicester
The incident happened at Hand Car Wash in Belgrave Road, Leicester -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Leicester imam accidentally crashed into three cars, leaving a mother with a fractured spine and other injuries that have "ruined her life". Islamic teacher Imran Lunat, 58, had been sitting in his Vauxhall Insignia at the Hand Car Wash in Belgrave Road, Belgrave, Leicester, while it was being cleaned.

He was asked to shift himself forwards in the vehicle by a car wash worker and he accidentally put his foot on the accelerator, sending the vehicle shooting forwards. In CCTV shown at Leicester Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, the Insignia could be seen to plough into another vehicle that then smashed into two other cars, including a Nissan.

The victim, a 34-year-old mum of two young children, had been working at the car wash, sitting in the front seat of the Nissan with the door open. The force of the collision flung her from the vehicle and she suffered seven broken ribs, a broken sternum and "extensive fractures" in the vertebrae in her spine.

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After being rushed to hospital she had surgery to put a metal rod in her back and she remains in severe pain nearly a year after the accident, which happened on Wednesday, May 24, last year. Prosecutor Ryan Houghton told the court she had "permanent, irreversible" damage that was having a long-term effect on her life.

In a victim personal statement, the woman said she was still unable to walk more than two or three metres, stand for more than two or three minutes, bend down to put her shoes on or care for her children.

She said her two young children relied on their grandmother to take them to school and care for them and that she had been unable to work since the accident. She said: "The man who caused the accident has ruined my life."

Mr Houghton said: "She can't play with or cook for her children. She's been snappy towards everybody, her husband has left her since the accident and she doesn't want to continue like this."

Raza Sakhi, representing Lunat, said his client was "a community leader, an imam at a local mosque and extremely well known". He added that his client, a married father of three, had sickle cell anaemia requiring blood transfusions every four weeks, never drank or took drugs and had no previous convictions or any points on his licence.

He said: "He expresses his utmost remorse to the victim. Every time I've spoken to him he has asked if she is getting any better. It was a momentary lapse of concentration and it was extremely unfortunate."

The chair of the bench, Alison Heathcote, told Lunat: "Although this was a freak accident it has led to horrific injuries for the victim." She said that due to his remorse and lack of previous convictions, he did not deserve a custodial sentence.

He was ordered to complete 300 hours of unpaid work as part of an 18-month community order. He was ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £114 victim surcharge.

The court heard that his car insurance was dealing with compensation for the woman. Lunat, of Clumber Road, Spinney Hills, Leicester, was also banned from driving for 12 months and will not be able to drive again until his has completed an extended retest.