A WOMAN who was driving a car which struck and killed a four year-old boy in Leeds embraced the youngster’s grieving mother amid emotional scenes at an inquest into his death.
Yusuf Jatta, of Chapeltown, suffered multiple fatal injuries when he was hit by a Vauxhall Corsa being driven by Naza Ali outside the Reginald Centre on Chapeltown Road, Chapeltown, Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard.
The inquest heard Yusuf had been waiting at a pelican crossing with his mother Fatou Bojang and other family members when he ran into the road.
The group had been stood on a pedestrian refuge in the central reservation on Chapeltown Road at the junction with Reginald Terrace.
Corsa driver Naza Ali would only have had a second to react before the collision just before 5pm on Saturday April 29, the inquest was told.
Naza Ali told Yusuf’s parents in court that she is a mother-of-four, adding: “I’m really sorry.”
Yusuf’s father Lamin Jatta told her: “We forgive you and do not hold any grudges against you or your family.”
Naza Ali then embraced Yusuf’s mother as both women wept.
Fatou Bojang wrote in a statement read to the inquest: “He was a lovely son and loving brother to his brothers and sisters...we all miss him greatly.”
Police collision investigator Martin Ward said CCTV footage from a shop, a bus and an NHS centre, indicated Yusuf had run into the road and that the car was travelling at 27mph in a 30mph zone.
Mr Ward said the fact no-one else had left the pedestrian refuge led him to believe the lights were on green for vehicles.
Mr Ward said: “As the vehicle approached, the child entered the road into the path of the vehicle. The vehicle has struck the child approximately one second after.”
Recording a verdict that Yusuf died in a road traffic collision, senior coroner David Hinchliff, said: “According to CCTV evidence there was a second, that wouldn’t have given an opportunity to stop.”