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'Think before you drink' message from brother after inquest into death of 26-year-old Carl Walker

Grace Witherden

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Grace Witherden

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Carl Walker:  Family pays tribute to a 'beautiful person'

Carl Walker. Picture: Luminous Photography

The twin brother of a 26-year-old man who died after being hit by a car on the A404 has urged people to ‘think before you drink’.

The inquest into the death of Carl Walker from Castle Hill, Maidenhead, was held at Reading Coroner’s Court today.

Mr Walker died after being hit by a car on the unlit dual carriageway near Burchetts Green in the early hours of Sunday, November 6.

During the inquest, witness statements were read from Mr Walker’s friends, who said they had been celebrating a 23rd birthday with him in Marlow on Saturday, November 5.

A statement from one of the investigating police officers said CCTV collected afterwards showed Mr Walker, who was three times over the drink-driving limit, walking ‘unsteadily’ over Marlow Bridge towards Bisham at 1.11am.

At about 2am, Mr Walker, who worked as a barman at Norden Farm, was hit by an Audi A3 driven by Rahul Jhalli.

Mr Jhalli said he was driving in the left hand lane of the A404, towards Marlow, when he saw a figure in the middle of the lane coming towards him.

He said: “It scared me. I didn’t expect to see anyone at all.

“I panicked and swerved to the right. I heard a loud bang. It all happened within a split second.”

Mr Jhalli, who said he had been driving at about 65-70 mph, pulled over on the road and called the police on his mobile.

He was not found to be over the drink-driving limit, and he said the only alcohol he had consumed was one pint at about 7pm the night before.

When asked by coroner Emma Jones if he felt he did everything he could, Mr Jhalli said: “As much as I felt like I did as much as I could, I wish I could have done more.”

The inquest heard Mr Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, and died of ‘catastrophic’ injuries.

During the inquest, a statement was read out from a witness who had driven past Mr Walker just before 2am.

Katrina Vargova was driving a friend home when she saw someone walking on the grass verge of the road.

The statement said: “I’ve seen people walking on the road before, they have a light. This person did not.

“I changed lanes to avoid him; it was a very close call.”

The inquest heard Ms Vargova found out about the death of Mr Walker the following morning.

She said she had known him for two to three years and said he usually walked everywhere.

In her conclusion, the coroner said Mr Jhalli had ‘insufficient’ time to take action to avoid hitting Mr Walker and recorded the cause of death as a road traffic collision.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Walker's twin brother Sean said: “I would like to thank Thames Valley Police for their support and investigation.

“It’s very clear to me that it was a pure accident.

“I would advise people when you’re out to look after each other and to think before you drink.

“I wish Mr Jhalli and his family all the best.”

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