Driver who ‘knocked down’ retired lecturer who then caught Covid in hospital three weeks later and died is charged with causing death by dangerous driving
- Smail Afafsa, 54, allegedly hit Christopher Pack, 69, outside home in Maidstone
- Mr Pack was hospitalised for broken femur but caught Covid three weeks later
- He died a week after catching disease amid the peak of England’s second wave
A driver has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a man was hit by a car and later died after catching Covid-19 while in hospital.
Smail Afafsa, 54, allegedly struck down Christopher Pack, 69, just outside his home in Maidstone, Kent, on December 29 last year.
Mr Pack, a retired university lecturer, fractured his right femur and was rushed to hospital – where he caught Covid three weeks later.
The father-of-two died just seven days after contracting the disease, Maidstone Magistrates Court heard.
On the same day the grandfather was taken to hospital, the UK announced more than 80,000 new coronavirus cases, setting a new daily record.
Over that week, the number of Covid-related deaths surged by 20 per cent, forcing prime minister Boris Johnson to place England into its third lockdown on January 6.
And by January 28, near the date of Mr Pack’s death, there were more than 37,000 people in hospital with Covid in England, twice as many as the height of the first peak in April 2020, while 4,076 people were on ventilators, more than at any time in the pandemic.
Smail Afafsa (pictured left), 54, allegedly struck down Christopher Pack, 69, just outside his home in Maidstone, Kent, on December 29 last year
But the prosecution in the case is arguing that if Mr Afafsa had not hit Mr Pack with his car, he would not have caught the deadly virus while in hospital.
Meanwhile the defence says that if Mr Pack died from Covid-19, his death was not a direct result of the injuries he received.
Prosecutor Victoria McGrady said at about 1.15pm on the day of the incident, Mr Afafsa drove the wrong way down a one-way road, struck Mr Pack and failed to stop.
Mr Afafsa is also charged with causing serious injury to Mr Pack by dangerous driving and of failing to stop after an accident.
He will have an Algerian-speaking interpreter at the trial and was released on unconditional bail after indicating a not guilty plea.
Mr Afafsa lives a few hundred yards from where Mr Pack, a social work course leader formerly of the University of Kent, was injured.
Mr Afafsa lives a few hundred yards from where Mr Pack, a social work course leader formerly of the University of Kent, was injured (Pictured: One way road where collision occured)
The case was sent to Maidstone Crown Court with the first hearing set for November 8.
Outside of the court, Mr Pack’s widow Barbara Pack described him as happy in his retirement.
She said he loved his home and garden and always kept busy, being skilled at all things DIY.
She added: ‘He did all the cooking and was a great baker too. He adored his family, myself and our daughters; Laura and Chloe, son-in-law Steve, and granddaughter Florence.
‘He also loved his friends and animal companions. He is hugely loved and missed by us all.’