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    LSE graduate, 24, screamed as she plunged 30ft to her death after climbing over dual carriageway barrier to flag down passing drivers when her car burst into flames in crash, inquest hears

    • Azra Kemal, 24, slipped through void on road bridge and fell 30ft to her death
    • She was escaping her car which caught fire down the A21 near Tonbridge, Kent
    • Her mother Nevres Kemal called her ‘really and truly the air that I breathe’ 

    A young law graduate screamed for help as she plunged 30ft to her death from a bridge after her car caught fire, an inquest heard today.  

    Azra Kemal, 24, escaped her Ford Focus after it burst into flames on the A21 in Tonbridge, Kent. 

    In a desperate attempt to flag down cars, she clambered over the barrier and fell an approximate 30ft drop off the Medway Viaduct to the Haysden Country Park below.

    Police were called shortly after 2.30am and London School of Economics law graduate Azra was pronounced dead at 3.20am. 

    Omar Allen, who was in the passenger seat of the car when it caught fire, today relieved the harrowing moment his friend died.  

    Azra Kemal, 24, slipped through a 10ft wide void between two carriageways on a road bridge on the A21 between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge. She climbed over the barriers thinking that there was a central reservation between the carriageways before falling to her death 

    The accident happened around 2.30am on Thursday on a two span bridge - known as the Medway Viaduct. It has one bridge for south-bound traffic and a separate second bridge for London-bound traffic around 10ft apart

    The accident happened around 2.30am on Thursday on a two span bridge – known as the Medway Viaduct. It has one bridge for south-bound traffic and a separate second bridge for London-bound traffic around 10ft apart

    The inquest in Maidstone, Kent today heard Ms Kemal died of multiple severe injuries.

    Her friend Omar Allen told the hearing: ‘There were just flames all over the car. We hopped out and the flames got bigger. They were all over the bonnet.

    ‘Azra wanted to get her little Louis Vuitton bag but there was smoke and fire inside the car.

    ‘I advised her that’s not a good idea because the car was hissing like it was going to blow up. We got the bags that we could out and that’s when we crossed the road to the central reservation.

    Azra's mother Nevres Kemal (pictured in 2008) revealed that her home felt empty without her only child

    Azra’s mother Nevres Kemal (pictured in 2008) revealed that her home felt empty without her only child

    ‘We were trying to flag down cars but there were no cars coming our way. Because of the fire, no car wanted to pass so they were all piling up.’

    The pair managed to make it across the central reservation initially to try and flag down traffic which continued to head southbound.

    But in a panic, Azra then attempted to clamber over another larger waist-high barrier to return to the northbound carriageway and instead fell through a small gap between the two roads.

    Traffic management worker Mr Allen, from London, added: ‘She walked out about two metres ahead of me and went to cross the dual carriageway again. So I went to follow her while carrying the bags.

    ‘That’s when I heard her fall. I looked down and I couldn’t see her. The screams went on for so long that I knew it was far down. She was down there screaming for me to come help her.’

    Mr Allen, 31, attempted to climb down a tree to try and reach Azra but it snapped and he fell to the ground too. 

    He added: ‘I just want her mum to know that I did everything that I could to help Azra. I have a child too so I know what it must feel like to lose a child.

    ‘It was a tragic thing to happen and I did everything that I could to save her. I don’t want her mum to ever think I didn’t do everything I could, because I did.’

    Azra Kemal, 24, slipped through a 10ft wide void between two carriageways on a road bridge on the A21 between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge. She climbed over the barriers thinking that there was a central reservation between the carriageways before falling to her death

    Azra Kemal, 24, slipped through a 10ft wide void between two carriageways on a road bridge on the A21 between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge. She climbed over the barriers thinking that there was a central reservation between the carriageways before falling to her death

    Despite an off-duty nurse passing at the time who called for paramedics and the best efforts of her friends to save her, she was pronounced dead at 3.20pm

    Despite an off-duty nurse passing at the time who called for paramedics and the best efforts of her friends to save her, she was pronounced dead at 3.20pm

    The friends, who had only met two weeks before, were on their way back to Azra’s flat in Whetstone, North London after visiting Mr Allen’s mother in Peacehaven, East Sussex around 9pm that night.

    Mr Allen said Azra had drunk a bottle of wine on the journey down earlier to the south coast – but told the inquest he was completely sober.

    He said Azra had become frustrated when he did not have enough money to buy another bottle at a petrol station on the way back, throwing his bag out the car in anger. 

    They had packed overnight bags intending to stay over but Mr Allen’s mother ordered them to leave less than an hour after arriving when Azra accidentally broke a lamp while they were laughing and taking Snapchat selfies.

    Off duty acting Police Sergeant James Savill spotted Azra in the driver’s seat of her Ford Focus pulled over on the A27 near Lewes, East Sussex shortly after midnight as the pair made their way back to London.

    He attempted to speak to the pair and said an upset and emotional Azra ‘appeared quite unsteady on her feet’ when she walked out of the vehicle.

    Mr Allen recalled: ‘The officer talked about a breathalyser and that’s when Azra told me to get back in the car and then she drove off.’

    Mr Savill said the car sped off in excess of 100mph in the last time he saw it before hearing it had later burst into flames and resulted in tragedy.

    He said: ‘I would estimate the car drove away well in excess of 100mph.’

    Catherine Taylor, from Surrey, and daughter Olivia were in the first car to arrive at the scene on the northbound carriageway.

    Ms Taylor, who called emergency services, was worried the flaming vehicle might explode as she heard popping noises.

    She told the inquest saw two figures illuminated by the fire run across four lanes and even clambered over the central reservation herself in an attempt to locate where they had gone.

    The accident happened around 2.30am on Thursday on a two span bridge - known as the Medway Viaduct. It has one bridge for south-bound traffic and a separate second bridge for London-bound traffic around 10ft apart

    The accident happened around 2.30am on Thursday on a two span bridge – known as the Medway Viaduct. It has one bridge for south-bound traffic and a separate second bridge for London-bound traffic around 10ft apart 

    Ms Taylor said: ‘I called out ‘are you okay?’ and couldn’t hear a reply. I then heard a guy shout ‘help’. He was calling up to us and I could hear him trying to comfort her.

    ‘I could hear Azra in pain.’

    Ms Taylor expressed her shock when she discovered Azra had fallen 30ft through a gap just metres from where she had climbed over herself.

    She continued: ‘I didn’t realise that the carriageway split and hadn’t realised how high up we were. You just couldn’t see. It was pitch black.

    ‘Even looking down there, I didn’t know it was a gap and thought it was just one barrier. There was no way you could have known because the dual carriageway had previously been joined.

    ‘I’m just so sorry we couldn’t have got to her sooner as I have a daughter the same age.’

    The inquest continues. 

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