Coroner Writes To London Ambulance Service Urging Improvements To Prevent Future Deaths

Talented Dental Surgeon Killed After His Motorcycle Collided With Ambulance

30.04.2014

The heartbroken family of a father-of-two who was killed after colliding with an ambulance which was parked in a ‘dangerous’ place on a multi-lane carriageway have welcomed recommendations made by the Coroner to prevent future deaths.

Dr Rajesh Parkash, a renowned dental surgeon, was riding his red BMW motorbike on the A3 Southbound on 14 March 2013 when he collided with a London Ambulance vehicle (LAS) which had moments before parked in the fast lane of the A3 to attend an incident on the A3 Northbound. The 43-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene from his injuries.

Dr Parkash’s family, from Sunningdale near Ascot, instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his death and find out whether more could have been done to prevent this tragedy.

At an inquest into his death, which resumed yesterday (29 April) at Woking Coroner’s Court, Coroner Dr Travers recorded a narrative verdict and said that Dr Parkash died as a result of accidently colliding with the LAS vehicle which was parked in a dangerous position in the fast lane of the A3 carriageway.

This followed evidence which heard that the ambulance driver and supervisor carried out no risk assessment as to the danger posed to others by the position of the vehicle.

Dr Travers made the following Regulation 28 report to be sent to the London Ambulance Service and also to the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and they have been asked to address the following:
• Ensure the safety guidelines are clear and concise on attending and driving on multi lane carriageways (as there are for motorways);
• Action needed to ensure all training updates and bulletins are seen and read by all staff;
• Action needed to clarify the role of a supervisor paramedic so that this role covers all aspects of the job (including driving standards), not just clinical decisions. Also to review the requirement for any minimum experience before a paramedic can supervise apprentices;
• Need to implement regular ongoing driving training, beyond the planned five year assessments;
• Need to improve communication between ambulances and the control room and also between the London Ambulance Service and neighbouring services.

Tragically Dr Parkash’s two children aged five and seven are now left without parents as his late wife Ravita died four years ago after contracting swine flu.

Expert Opinion
Dr Parkash’s family are dealing with a truly heartbreaking and unimaginable ordeal and hopefully yesterday’s hearing has provided them with some of the answers which they have been desperately seeking. They have spent the past year wondering exactly what happened and have struggled to come to terms with his death.

“We invited the Coroner to make a number of recommendations designed to prevent future similar deaths and we welcome the Regulation 28 report as it is vital that lessons are learnt from this tragedy. Improvements should now be made by the London Ambulance Service and taken on board by other ambulance services across the country.

“Two children have lost their parents in tragic circumstances at a very young age, something which they will obviously have to live with forever. The family has understandably been left shocked and devastated by their loss and we will now continue to support them in their battle for justice.”
Laura Middleton-Guerard, Associate

The inquest heard that at the scene of the accident, the paramedics from the London Ambulance Service were attending to a man who had jumped onto the northbound carriageway when they heard a loud bang shortly after exiting their ambulance.

The LAS paramedics immediately rushed to help Dr Parkash on the southbound side of the A3, where the ambulance had been parked in fast lane, but the injuries he sustained were so severe they were not able to save his life.

Dr Rajesh Parkash was a renowned dental surgeon and studied at King’s College University Dental School. He was also a lecturer in Implantology at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. He was well respected in the industry and was the principal Partner at the Sensura dental practice which he had set up with his late wife and a fellow associate dental practitioner at the Oasis Dental Practice and previously practiced in Harley Street.

Naval Mair, said: “Our family has been left utterly heartbroken by the incident and we have desperately been awaiting answers from the authorities involved so that we could finally know what happened.

“Rajesh was very much a family man, very caring and a fun-loving person. He was a keen motorcyclist, we both passed our tests 20 years ago and enjoyed many journeys together, including travelling to the South of France

“We are very grateful to the Coroner for undertaking a full exploration of how his tragic death occurred and we hope that improvements are made by the emergency services involved to ensure that other families do not have to suffer the pain and heartbreak we have over losing a much loved member of our family.”