A DISTRAUGHT family has paid tribute to the teenage driver killed when he lost control of his car on a major Capital road at the weekend.
Abdul Sajjad, 17, died instantly when his Ford Fiesta span and smashed into the back of a parked van in Regent Road on Sunday night.
A 21-year-old rear seat passenger is being treated in hospital for multiple fractures while a 15-year-old front seat passenger escaped with minor injuries.
“Abdul was a beloved son, brother and friend,” read a statement from his family, issued through police.
“He was an independent man who worked hard and dreamed big, putting others in front of himself and always making others smile.
“As a family we will now come together to grieve for Abdul and would ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”
Specialist accident investigators cordoned off Regent Road for six hours after Abdul’s Fiesta hit the Citroen Relay van near the foot of Calton Hill at 9.25pm. Paramedics pronounced Abdul dead at the scene and treated both passengers before taking them to the Royal Infirmary.
Sergeant Fraser Wood said speed is being considered as a contributory factor but no other car is believed to have been involved. The road was wet at the time of the crash but there were no extreme weather conditions and the street was well lit, said Sgt Wood.
Abdul passed his test in April and all three occupants are thought to have been wearing their seat belts at the time of the smash.
His 21-year-old passenger is in a “serious but stable” condition in the Royal Infirmary with a fractured hip and spine injury, among others.
The 15-year-old suffered only minor cuts and bruises but is understood to have been left traumatised by his ordeal.
“Tragically, this incident has resulted in a young man losing his life and our thoughts are with his family at this time,” said Sgt Wood.
“We are still working to establish the full circumstances of the collision and anyone who was on Regent Road at the time and witnessed what happened should contact police immediately.”
Cllr Joanna Mowatt noted historical problems with drivers using Regent Road as a “racetrack” while the route has become busier as part of the Leith Street closure.
“It’s always very tragic and my condolences are with the parents and family of the young person who died,” added Cllr Mowat.
Anyone with information can contact the Road Policing Unit at Fettes via 101 and quote incident number 4045 of September 3.