For a month every year Muslims are supposed to fast (i.e. not eat any food) during daylight hours – this is known as Ramadan. Most cope with this fine (and if you’re ill you can eat food). But one guy from my home town, despite feeling rather tired, decided to drive. And fell asleep. Alas, he hit a lamp-post and later died in hospital.
Bradford Coroners Court was told Maurice Gent, 59, was fasting for the Muslim festival of Ramadan and was “feeling tired” at the time of the collision.
The court heard how Mr Gent, of Waterside, Bingley, was taken to Airedale General Hospital where he told Accident & Emergency staff he thought he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Mr Gent, a civil servant, had complained of stomach pains in the ambulance. He was stable on arrival at hospital, but his condition started to deteriorate and he died of multiple organ failure on October 5, 2007 – six days after the collision.
Ramadan is actually getting earlier each year and this means that daylight hours will be getting longer, so it’ll be interesting to see if more accidents happen as a result of people fasting who really shouldn’t.