A drink and drug driver tried to frame his friend by moving her unconscious body into the driving seat after a crash which killed a 16-year-old schoolboy, a court has heard.
Kanad Basi, 22, who was high on cocaine and ecstasy and almost twice the drink-drive limit, drove into a bend at speed and lost control of his BMW before crashing into a tree.
His front seat passenger, Jack Frame, 16, was thrown forward and suffered catastrophic head injuries. He died at the scene of the crash in Lesmahagow, near Glasgow, on February 10, 2019.
The High Court in Glasgow, where Basi admitted causing death by dangerous driving, heard how he tried to pin the blame on one of his rear seat passengers, Eleanor Plenderleith, 20.
She had been knocked unconscious along with Aiden O’Donnell, who was sitting next to her.
Prosecutor Jane Farquharson said: ’Neither passenger has any recollection about the incident itself, or what happened thereafter.
‘In the immediate aftermath the accused removed his seat belt and climbed into the rear of the vehicle pushing passenger Eleanor Plenderleith into the front.
‘She was found unconscious with her legs in the rear seating area and her head facing down into the driver’s footwell.’
Eleanor, who was 19 at the time and worked in Subway, suffered a punctured lung, lacerated liver, broken ribs and a fractured chestbone.
She told the Daily Record how Basi, who worked as a waiter, had continued to lie for months that she was the driver, which led to her being ostracised in her home town.
She said she’s lived with constant anxiety since the crash and had to put up with lots of abuse which made it difficult for her to attend her friend Jack’s funeral.
Basi’s action show he is a ‘toxic monster’, Eleanor told the paper, adding: ‘It makes me sick to think Kanad was my friend before the crash. I trusted him – I don’t know how he could do something so horrendous to take time and plan things and spread lies.’
The four people in the car had been at a party when they decided to go for a drive in the early hours of the morning.
Describing the sequence of events to the court, Ms Farquharson said: ‘As the accused approached a right hand bend, he lost control of the car. His vehicle left the carriageway, mounted the grass verge, collided with a wire fence and struck a tree in the grounds of Hallandbush Golf Club.
‘Due to this impact Jack Frame was thrown forward and trapped within the front passenger side of the vehicle. His head was wedged underneath the glove box area.’
The court heard that Basi used Aiden’s phone to call 999 and during that conversation admitted he was the driver.
However, later sitting in the back of an ambulance he was asked by police if he was the driver and replied: ‘I can’t remember now, but give me half an hour or so and I might remember. I woke up in the back with my friend Aiden and pulled the girl over the front. There were only four in the car.’
A breath test showed Basi had an alcohol count of 37. The legal limit is 22. A blood sample taken from him showed the presence of cocaine and ecstasy.
Apprentice joiner Aiden, who was 18 at the time was sitting behind Basi suffered a fractured skull, four facial fractures, two broken legs and a number of fractures to his left arm. He had to undergo surgery and learn to walk again. He has been unable to work since the accident.
Judge Lord Mulholland: ‘This is an utter tragedy for the family of the deceased who lost his life with catastrophic injuries which you were responsible for with your driving.
‘If ever there was a case that showed the folly of the combination of drugs, alcohol and speed, it is this case.’
Basi was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.
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