Dad’s devastation at young surgeon’s crash death

Sarah Laftavi spent time in Indonesia helping impoverished youngsters. Picture: Contributed
Sarah Laftavi spent time in Indonesia helping impoverished youngsters. Picture: Contributed
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Trainee surgeon Sarah Laftavi was killed just minutes from her parents’ home in a horrific accident which has stunned family and friends.

The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene following a smash between her car and a double decker bus.

The incident – which has prompted concerned calls for the speed to be reduced at the accident blackspot – has devastaed the doctor’s family.

A tear-stained tribute from doting daddy Mehdi Laftavi says it all: “Sarah – flower of my life. Dad xxx.”

A second floral tribute left at the crash site, which was still littered with glass and debris last night, read: “To my darling lovely daughter, you will be in our hearts and with us forever and ever. Love you always. Miss you always. Lots of love, mum and dad.”

Devastated parents Mehdi and Margaret were too upset to speak. But a family member painfully laid bare the sense of utter loss at the vivacious brunette’s death.

He said: “The news has left us all in total shock and despair. We’re struggling to come to terms with what has happened. It’s utterly tragic. We’re just desperately trying to understand how this has happened. All she wanted to do was help people. She had a whole life of promise ahead of her, but that’s been taken away now.”

A life full of promise snuffed out in a heartbeat, Sarah died following an accident which happened just minutes from her parents’ home in Lasswade Road. The force of the collision caused Sarah’s grey Volkswagen Passat to split in two – the pieces coming to rest 50ft apart – after it was struck by a number 31 Lothian Buses double decker on Thursday evening. Emergency workers battled to save her life, but the former Edinburgh University student was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sarah, who graduated in June last year as a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, had begun working at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy earlier this month.

Her colleagues have been sent reeling by the news.

A spokeswoman for NHS Fife said: “It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the tragic death of Sarah, who was a foundation doctor in general surgery. This was her second placement, her first being in general medicine. On behalf of NHS Fife I would like to pass on our deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.”

Sarah – pictured abovee on a family trip to Jakarta in August 2009 – devoted her life to helping others.

On the trip to Indonesia with her mum – who works at the Centre for Maritime and Safety Technology (C-MIST) based at Heriot Watt University – she was overcome by emotion helping impoverished youngsters.

The family was visiting a school project run by the Children Learning Community, which seeks to offer alternative education to the children of poor urban families in the area.

Our family member said: “She was the light of so many people’s lives.”

The emergency services are still attempting to understand the circumstances of Thursday’s incident, which occurred just after 7pm.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Tragically, this collision resulted in a young woman’s death and we are trying to establish exactly what happened.”

A two-week-old baby and a three-year-old girl were among the six passengers on the bus. The bus driver is understood to have been treated for shock.

A spokesman for Lothian Buses said: “We are co-operating fully with the emergency services.”

Lasswade Road is notorious for fatal road crashes. In May 2007, 18-year-old Alexander Scougall, of Gilmerton, was killed when the car he was travelling in overturned after colliding with a van. Two years later motorcyclist Keith Henderson, 49, from Bonnyrigg, died after a collision with a skip lorry.