Emotional tributes were paid to a doctor who had an “infectious smile” at an inquest into his death this afternoon.
Daniel Brudney, of Temple Fortune Hill, Golders Green, died when his car veered off the A1 at the Barnet Bypass at around 8.30pm on Friday, September 13.
Hatfield Coroners Court heard how the 33-year-old remained calm as witnesses risked their own lives by pulling over in the pouring rain to comfort him in his last moments.
Coroner Edward Thomas commended the “remarkable” actions of courier driver Elijah White, who crawled into the car through a shattered window to offer help.
The Vauxhall Corsa had rolled upside down, and Mr White helped Daniel loosen his seatbelt and remove his jacket, before taking him into a soothing embrace.
His voice was laced with sadness as he said: “I didn’t think he would die. If I had known, I would have asked if he had a message for his family. I am so sorry I didn’t.
“He was awake, he said he wasn’t in any agony. I made a joke about something, and he laughed. I told him to keep still, to stay with me.
“I wish I had saved him. The fact that I couldn’t is something I still regret.”
But Mr Thomas said: “There was nothing more you could have done and I applaud you for your actions.”
Paramedics were called, but Daniel later suffered a cardiac arrest in the ambulance and was pronounced dead after arriving at hospital.
A well-respected microbiologist at the Lister Hospital, in Stevenage, he had been driving home from a colleague's leaving party where he spent the night drinking orange juice.
Witness Susan Kitchener, who was driving from Yorkshire to London with two friends, watched in horror as Daniel’s car mounted the kerb, collided with a fence and overturned.
She said: “It shot out right in front of me. It was like something out of a stunt movie. There was no reason for it - it just absolutely veered off.
“It was hammering it down with rain. I stopped even though it was dangerous to do so, and my friends rushed towards the car.”
She faced his parents, Alan and Jill, and said: “I want you to know, he wasn’t alone. He wasn’t in the dark.”
Expert road traffic investigators believe Daniel could have steered to avoid a puddle before losing control of his car, or that his car hit the water and skidded towards the fence.
The doctor, who had attended University College School, in Hampstead, was a dedicated volunteer with catholic youth organisations.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Thomas said: “His colleagues say they’ll remember him for his infectious smile. He strikes me as a very kind man, and this is a great loss.”