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Hit-and-run death driver is 'cleared' But expert slams his explanation.

Byline: By DAVID HIMELFIELD News Reporter

A DRIVER who killed a retired teacher in a hit-and-run accident will not face further charges.

Geza Bago, 68, fled in his Mini Cooper af ter knocking down 79-year-old Alan Naylor on New North Road, Liversedge, on October 25, 2006, a Huddersfield inquest was told.

Mr Naylor, a former teacher at Birstall C of E School and Norristhorpe Primary School at Liversedge, died four days later in Dewsbury District Hospital.

In April last year Dewsbury magistrates finedMr Bago, a retired turbine blade polisher, for failing to stop after an accident.

And yesterday coroner Paul Marks ruled that there was insufficient proof to record a verdict of unlawful killing.

Mr Naylor, a keen local historian, suffered a fatal head injury and a fracture to the base of his skull, together with breaks to his left collarbone, left hip and four ribs, the inquest heard.

A friend told the inquest he had droppedMr Naylor off near his home after a visit to the J B Priestley Society, a society dedicated to the Bradford-born author, moments before the accident.

After his arrest Mr Bago, of Baildon, Shipley, told police he thought he had struck the wing mirror of a van.

He said he had stopped his car to inspect the damage - a shattered windscreen - looked back towards the van, panicked and driven off.

YesterdayMr Bago told the inquest he thought he might have hit an animal after finding grey hairs on the roof of his car.

Police crash scene investigator Ian Lampton said Mr Bago's car had probably struckMr Naylor at between 30mph and 40mph and carried him on the bonnet for a short distance.

Mr Marks asked him: "If someone was launched on to the bonnet would you expect the driver to be aware of that?"

Mr Lampton replied: "Absolutely.

Even in a low-speed collision that would break a windscreen.

"The driver would be in no doubt he had hit something substantial and had a duty to stop."

He added that Mr Bago's explanation was "completely unfeasible".

Recording a narrative verdict Mr Marks said he could not record a verdict of unlawful killing because the cause could "not be established to the criminal standard of proof".

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FATAL SPOT: The scene of the accident and its victim, Alan Naylor
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2008
Words:384
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