Ipswich: Teen death crash driver was registered as blind

IPSWICH: A teenage driver responsible for killing a young woman was driving on an unlit road at night despite being registered as blind, it emerged today.

Luke Burdakay, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, is also understood to have been over the legal drink-drive limit at the time.

Due to his impaired vision, it is believed the 19-year-old does not hold a driving licence.

Burdakay has admitted causing the fatal crash near Woodbridge which claimed the life of 20-year-old Laureen Hammond.

Suffolk Constabulary confirmed Burdakay has problems with his sight after a direct question by The Evening Star.


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A police spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that Mr Burdakay has impaired vision and is registered as blind.”

A spokesman for the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency outlined the minimum standard for obtaining a licence.

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He said: “The minimum eyesight standard for driving cars and motorcycles is that a licence holder or applicant must be able to read in good light – with the aid of spectacles or contact lenses if needed – a number plate from a distance of 20 metres.

“In addition they must have no other condition significantly impairing their visual field, i.e. the width of vision.”

Police also took a blood sample from Burdakay after the tragedy as it was suspected he had been driving with excess alcohol.

It is understood the result of tests have shown he was over the drink-drive limit.

However, Suffolk Constabulary declined to say at this stage how far over the legal limit Burdakay was.

Burdakay pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Miss Hammond, from Sutton, near Woodbridge, when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday.

The volume of alcohol in his blood is likely to be revealed when he is sentenced on March 31 by the same court.

After Burdakay’s guilty plea the investigating officer, Pc Allie Cotton, of Suffolk Constabulary’s serious collision investigation team, said: “This collision was caused by Luke Burdakay’s total disregard for the safety of others.

“This was a senseless and needless collision caused solely by his actions.”

Miss Hammond, a care worker and former pupil of Deben High School in Felixstowe, died at the scene of the February 3 crash between the Fiat Stilo Burdakay was driving and her Vauxhall Corsa.

The tragedy happened on the B1083 near Sutton Hoo around 9.30pm.

A Vauxhall Astra was also damaged.

Burdakay is also awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to a separate offence of attempted robbery at Trawler’s Catch fish shop in Saxmundham, six days before the fatal crash.

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