Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

"Oblivious" speeding driver handed five and a half year jail term for killing six-year-old boy riding home from football practice

Boy, who was crossing a 30mph road, was catapulted 100ft by the impact

A Luton motorist who killed a six-year-old boy cycling home from football training has been jailed for five and a half years. Michael Raffermati had a clear view for 132 metres before he hit Zi Singh, who was catapulted 100 feet along the road.

The BBC reports that on Saturday October 20 2018, Singh went to cross Whitehorse Vale in Luton with his adoptive father, Dr Tekki Rao, a consultant paediatrician.

Rao checked both ways to ensure it was safe, but then heard a car.

Prosecutor Peter Shaw said: "Dr Rao was a little ahead of Zi, when he heard the roaring sound of a car engine of what he later described as a fast-approaching car.

"He tried to shout to Zi to stop him, but realised Zi was already crossing the road behind him. Dr Rao witnessed Zi being struck by a car and catapulted on the road about 100ft (30.48m)."

In a victim impact statement, Rao said: "Zi was lifeless, pale eyes deviated to either side. At that very moment I felt he was no more. My experience in paediatric medicine and neurology told me his life has ended."

Rao tried to resuscitate his adopted son, but the boy was pronounced dead in hospital.

The speed limit of the road is 30mph. Police estimated Raffermati – who had his three children in the car – was travelling at between 50mph and 61mph at the time of impact if there had been braking before.

Rao told police he heard Zi being hit and the sound of something being dragged, but no braking.

A witness said Raffermati had been doing at least 60mph on the single carriageway road. Another said they hadn’t seen brake lights at the time of the collision.

Shaw said: "The defendant was travelling at well over the 30mph speed limit and such driving was inappropriate for the prevailing road conditions. It was a residential area with multiple crossing points.

"The nature of the road is such that extra care is required. It is residential, near a corner shop, there are multiple designated crossing points, multiple bus stops and multiple side roads from which vehicles may be emerging.

"There are multiple vulnerable road users and hazard points. There is clear witness evidence that the defendant was not driving in a manner even approaching appropriate for the road.

"Having proved Zi and Dr Rao were there to be seen, at or near a designated crossing point, the defendant did not react in any way to account for their presence on or near to the crossing point. “Given the 132-metre view he should have seen Dr Rao crossing and Zi behind him and slowed down accordingly.

"There is witness evidence that no braking was seen or heard on the car's approach to the crossing and, to the contrary, that he accelerated in the lead up to it.

"The defendant was driving so fast he was oblivious to other vulnerable road users and either failed to see Zi or Dr Rao until it is too late, or does see them and carries on regardless."

Raffermati, from Leighton Buzzard, had three previous convictions: one of damaging property and two of threatening behaviour, one of which was a road rage offence from 2015 when he threatened another driver with a hammer.

Shaw also said the MOT on the car had expired 11 days before the collision.

Raffermati admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Defending, Neil Jarvis said: "He wishes he could put himself in the place of the child. He accepts his speeds was excessive. He can't clearly say what happened. He wishes he could go back and do something completely different."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Latest Comments