PASSERS-BY were forced to lift a minicab from a dying father-of-two after he was struck by the car in Broadgreen., an inquest heard

Despite their efforts, IT consultant Sridhar Munnaluri died the next day as a result of serious brain injuries sustained in the crash. Following his death, members of the Hindu community raised £45,000 for Mr Munnaluri’s family.

A Salisbury inquest heard the 41-year-old, who lived on Brunel Crescent with his wife and two children, then aged eight and five months, had spent the day at a Hindu temple in Reading on Saturday, September 30, last year.

On his way home, he visited Baraka Groceries on the corner of Lagos Street and Corporation Street. Emerging from the store at around at around 7.35pm, he was struck by a taxi.

Witnesses described Indian-born Mr Munnaluri being thrown in the air as he was hit by the Peugeot 5008 minicab.

In a statement read out by assistant coroner Nicholas Rheinberg, witness Tania Nanitas told police she had seen the minicab overtake a car parked outside Baraka Groceries at some speed: “As [the driver] was doing this I saw a man come out of the shop and step on the white [hatching] lines. The man stepped on to the white lines with both feet already on the road when I heard a loud noise.”

She said Mr Munnaluri had been thrown into the air, then become trapped under the taxi’s wheels.

Off-duty nurse Sizure Hlophe said: “People were shouting at him [the driver] to stop. I got out of my car to help and was calling the emergency services on my phone.

“I checked for his pulse. He was still breathing. Myself and several others then lifted the car from the man so we could get access to him and so we could relieve pressure.

“The whole incident was horrible and traumatic. Although I work in an accident and emergency department at a hospital, I have never witnessed a collision like this before. It was very upsetting.”

Minicab driver Jumma Shakeeb was cautioned by police officers at the scene. When he was later interviewed by crash investigator PC Anthony Hall, the Broadgreen resident said he was on his way to pick up a fare at the Jury’s Inn a short distance away when his cab hit Mr Munnaluri.

He said he had stopped at the white hatchings at the junction of Lagos Street, before looking right down Corporation Street and making off. He glanced left, but said he had not seen Mr Munnaluri as he stepped off the pavement.

He told police officers: “I didn’t see him at all…If I saw him I would have stopped.” Mr Shakeeb said he heard two banging noises and believed something had collided with his car: “I heard the noise and I stopped.”

It is understood evidence about the case was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service, but no action has been taken against Mr Shakeeb.

Coroner's conclusions

Nicholas Rheinberg, HM Assistant Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, concluded Mr Munnaluri had died from severe brain injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.

He said: “The exact sequence of events are a little bit difficult to follow, because two witnesses to these events have given conflicting accounts, but it seems the taxi came to the junction and the driver looked to the right. Whether or not he looked to the left is unclear, but he will have looked to the left as he turned into Corporation Street.

“Sadly, the taxi driver did not see Mr Munnaluri in the road and a collision took place as a result of which Mr Munnaluri received fatal injuries.

“It is not for this inquiry to seek to apportion blame, but merely to record as well as it is possible what happened.”

Mr Rheinberg added: “This inquiry has heard that on Saturday, September 30, last year Mr Munnalari had attended his temple in Reading and it is assumed that on the way back home to Swindon he decided to do some shopping and would have gone into the shop at the corner of Lagos Street and Corporation Street in New Town in Swindon. It was at about 7.35pm in the evening that Mr Munnaluri left the shop. He was carrying shopping bags and witnesses or a witness described him stepping into the road.

“The CCTV has been examined by the expert to this inquiry, Officer Chambers, and shows Mr Munnaluri left by the Corporation Street exit to the shop and premises. He was intending to cross Corporation Street.

“He stepped out into the road at something of an angle to Corporation Street. At that moment a taxi had come down Lagos Street.”

Mr Rheinberg passed on his condolences to Mrs Munnaluri at the loss of her husband.