Man jailed for causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed drug limit

A Nelson man has been jailed for causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed drug limit.

Mohammed Waqas was also convicted of causing death by driving whilst uninsured, following the death of Irslaan Nowkhaiz in September 2021. 

At around 1:23am on Wednesday 29th September 2021 Waqas, 33, was driving his white Audi A4 on the M65 between junctions 11 and 12 at Brierfield with his friend in the passenger seat. It was raining heavily, he was driving at around 80 miles per hour, and both men were not wearing seatbelts.

After hitting a puddle of standing water, the car aquaplaned and lost control, colliding with a tree and landing on its roof. The passenger, Irslaan, suffered serious head injuries and sadly died from the impact.

Waqas was nine times over the legal limit for benzoylecgonine (BZE, a cocaine breakdown product) and had also consumed cocaine and cannabis. In addition, he shouldn’t have been driving due to a pre-existing medical condition. Despite this, that night he chose to drive whilst under the influence of drugs and in a way that was not suitable for the road conditions.

PC Kate Brady of the Serious Collisions Investigation Unit said: “First and foremost, our condolences remain with Irslaan’s family. On 29th September 2021, Waqas was driving at an inappropriate speed for the conditions on the M65 in heavy rain, he shouldn’t have been driving due to an existing medical condition, was driving under the influence of drugs, and had no insurance or MOT.

As a result of his reckless behaviour, his friend lost his life on that tragic night. We take offences of this nature extremely seriously, and hope that this jail sentence will deter others from committing such terrible offences.”

After initially submitting a not guilty plea, Waqas since changed his plea to guilty to the offences of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit and causing death whilst uninsured. 

Mohammed Waqas, of Rhoda Street, Nelson was jailed for four years and three months at Preston Crown Court on 4th June 2024 and disqualified from driving for five years and three months.

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