'Sneezing fit' to blame for crash

2012-06-19 11:30

A UK taxi driver has been acquitted of charges against him following the death of a man in a car crash.

Phillip Parker smashed into Malkit Khatkar's Vauxhall Vectra on New Year's Day 2011. Parker claimed that he was having a "sneezing fit at the time" and the courts acquitted him of careless driving.

The vehicle had been struck from behind and Khatkar had to be cut out of the mangled wreckage.


Khatkar, suffered spinal injuries in the accident, which occured on the A2 at Wilmington, Kent, before dying two weeks later. Parker, who suffered a broken collarbone in the crash, said he was traveling between 90-100km and denied being fatigued behind the wheel.

Parker denied claims of careless driving, and says the cause of the collision with Khatkar's vehicle was due to him sneezing several times in a row, which obscured his vision of the road ahead.

Parker told police during an interview: "It didn't well up, it just - bang - happened. It was just one after another."

According to the DailyMail, Prosecutor Anthony Prosser, told the court that Parker was at fault and did not drive to the "standard of a careful and competent driver."

He said: "The Crown say if he did have a sneezing fit there was at least 30 seconds of visibility of the car in front and plenty of time to brake and do anything to avoid the rear-end collision."

“The Vectra was there to be seen on a straight stretch of road. The reality is he drove into the back of the car, causing the collision,” said Prosser.

There were no independent witnesses to the crash, which happened at about 5.20am on a long straight stretch of the coast-bound carriageway. An off-duty policeman arrived on the scene following the collision.

Asked by Prosser how he couldn't see Khatkar's vehicle directly in front of him, Parker responded: "All I can tell you is I had a sneezing fit and the car was there.

"It looked like it was stationary and I went into the back of it. I did brake."