Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who has a left foot sprain, will sit out the team’s Thursday night NFL season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.This is another significant loss for the Broncos who will also be playing without their top pass-rusher. Linebacker Von Miller was suspended for the first six games of the season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.Bailey sprained his foot two weeks ago and attempted to return to practice Tuesday, but didn’t participate in the session. When asked if his foot was feeling any better, Bailey responded: “Yeah, yeah. Every day, every day.”On Monday Bailey said he was “very close” to being ready to play, but the date of his return remained “up in the air” because of the injury.
sammy sosa = the perfect example of a dominican that doesn’t want to be defined as black. self hate is real. dominicans in denial is real.— Jessica Johnson (@iheartdilla) July 13, 2017 ayo Sammy Sosa look like a unbrushed tongue pic.twitter.com/q4dGPPYI6q— Price. (@Priceverson) July 13, 2017 Sammy Sosa’s skin tone began appearing lighter in 2009. (Twitter/Screenshot) as a dominican, the sammy sosa pic is a sad reminder of the self-hate and psychological damage of white supremacy that still exist among us.— alex medina (@mrmedina) July 13, 2017 Sammy Sosa the same complexion as those cheap ass hot dogs that turn the water pink when you boil them.— Larry Beyince (@DragonflyJonez) July 13, 2017Sosa, who retired from Major League Baseball after the 2007 season with 609 career home runs, eighth on the all-time list, admitted to using a bleaching cream in 2009 after photos surfaced of him looking noticeably lighter at an awards show.“It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin tone,” Sosa said at the time on Univision’s “Primer Impacto.” “It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but [it] has bleached me some. I’m not a racist, I live my life happily. What happened was that I had been using the cream for a long time and that, combined with the bright TV lights, made my face look whiter than it really is. I don’t think I look like Michael Jackson.”Several people reflected on the social implications of a once dark-skinned man having such a remarkably different appearance.It’s sad that the emotional pain Sammy Sosa feels about being black is so sharp he was willing to endure bleaching himself pink.— roxane gay (@rgay) July 13, 2017 Sammy Sosa look like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. pic.twitter.com/y3nPyL1HtF— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) July 13, 2017 If you thought you knew what former Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa looks like, a new interview will make you think again.Sosa alarmed some fans when he appeared in an interview on a July 13 ESPN Deportes special about the All-Star Home Run Derby, an interview that revealed his already lightened tone as lighter than ever.Many made fun of the former Dominican baseball star.Sammy Sosa out here lookin like Pepto Bismal. pic.twitter.com/1xdKo84Bko— OXTAIL GAWD (@ThatDudeMCFLY) July 13, 2017 Sammy Sosa lightening himself is a result of a perverted system of white supremacy that causes ppl to take extreme measures to feel “safe”— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) July 13, 2017
Some people daydream about becoming professional baseball players. Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller daydream about being general managers. The two co-host the “Effectively Wild” podcast for Baseball Prospectus (Ben is also a writer for this site), and last summer they learned that one of their listeners was the media relations director for the Sonoma Stompers, an independent minor-league baseball team in California. Lindbergh and Miller floated the idea that the Stompers should let them act as general managers for the team, advising on player personnel and strategy. The Stompers bit.Their new book, “The Only Rule Is It Has To Work,” chronicles a summer spent trying out their weirdest analytics-driven ideas on the actual playing field.On this week’s What’s The Point, Ben Lindbergh discusses his summer with the Stompers, and the larger lessons about what it’s like to try to use data to change a team’s culture.Stream or download the full episode above, or subscribe using your favorite podcast app. Read an excerpt from the book here. Here is a transcript of a highlight from the conversation. Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed If you’re a fan of What’s The Point, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, and please leave a rating/review — that helps spread the word to other listeners. And be sure to check out our sports show Hot Takedown as well. Have something to say about this episode, or have an idea for a future show? Get in touch by email, on Twitter, or in the comments.What’s The Point’s music was composed by Hrishikesh Hirway, host of the “Song Exploder” podcast. Download our theme music. Ben Lindbergh: These players were far enough from the majors that they were willing to mix things up. Someone who is at AAA, one step from the big leagues, would’ve said, “I’ve gotten this far with what I’ve done, and I’m not willing to do something new.” But these guys were getting desperate enough that they were willing to listen.Jody Avirgan: That’s the key — you have to find a community that is desperate enough to listen to what you have to say. That’s actually the key to this podcast.But, what was your relationship with Sam [Miller] like? You host the podcast every day, I assume that you’re friends. Now all of a sudden you were thrust into a working relationship.Lindbergh: There was some tension. Usually we are separated by a continent and we get along just fine. But when we were in the same place, running this team and writing this book, we definitely had some philosophical differences.I remember on Opening Day I wanted to march into the manager’s office and say, “Here’s the batting order for today’s game.” Sam didn’t want to do that because he thought we would alienate the manager, and it would have a ripple effect, and we’d be fighting for the rest of the season. I thought we had to assert our authority [right away].Avirgan: And who won that battle?Lindbergh: I don’t know if there was a conclusive winner. Eventually Sam moved towards my side of the spectrum, but there were things he saved me from doing throughout the season.Avirgan: Overall, do you feel like this project was a success, not just in that it was fun … but in that it taught you larger lessons about the work that you’re going to continue to do?Lindbergh: I think it taught us about selling yourself, and storytelling. We probably could have packaged this book as “what baseball can teach us about business” or something, and sold a million more copies.Avirgan: You could have done a TED Talk!Lindbergh: Shoot, we should have done that. But, really — it is about management and finding a way to present your message to people who may or may not be receptive to it. You may have the spreadsheets, but don’t always show the spreadsheets. Make it fun and exciting.Take your conclusion, one that’s sound and driven by the data … but don’t always show your math. Know your audience. So we learned a lot about how to present our findings, and that can be applicable in any field. By Jody Avirgan
Ohio State junior setter Sanil Thomas sets up redshirt senior middle blocker Nick Laffin during the Buckeyes’ 3-1 win against Loyola on March 29 at St. John Arena. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorThe energy was through the roof of St. John Arena with the No. 9 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (18-4, 9-2 MIVA) returning from its five-week road-trip in one of its most pivotal conference matchups of the year.Lifted by the excitement, the Buckeyes came onto the floor and took care of business, beginning aggressively and defeating No. 6 Loyola 3-1. The lone loss came in the third set at the end of a 30-point overtime that ended 41-39 in favor of the Ramblers (19-5, 9-2 MIVA).What began as an uneventful set eventually picked up speed at 15-14 and turned into one of the longest NCAA volleyball sets of the 2018 season. Ohio State senior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir said the only thought in a player’s head during a set like that is to continue fighting.“You’re just trying to keep going,” Hervoir said. “You’re so tired that you’re just trying to do your best at that moment.”In Ohio State’s previous matchup with the Ramblers in Chicago, the Buckeyes took the first two sets, but dropped the remaining three to lose the match. Entering Thursday night’s fourth set, the Buckeyes looked tired, but not beat. Despite low energy, Hervoir said he was not worried about tonight’s match being a repeat of the last.“At Loyola, we let them come back and on set three [of tonight’s match], we fought until the end,” he said. “So we were already in this mindset like, ‘just keep going and fight as hard as we can.’”Ohio State took a 14-11 lead, one it kept through the end of the set. Redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes finished the match with a service ace and the team swarmed the court, filled with the sweet taste of revenge. Though both the longest set and the clinching set were the final two of the match, head coach Pete Hanson was especially pleased by the team’s performance in the first two sets.“The first two sets, we played excellent volleyball,” Hanson said. “Just really, really did the things that we had talked about all week in practice. Our tactics were good. Our execution of our tactics [was] good.”The first two sets seemed to portend a quick night with the Buckeyes beating the Ramblers 25-20 and 25-16.The first set was fast paced with both teams playing well. However, Ohio State had the necessary edge to win. Ohio State senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen got the ball rolling for the team, leading in kills, service aces and digs. Rambler junior outside hitter Collin Mahan and senior outside hitter Ryan Jamison carried their team offensively, each tallying four kills in the opening set.The entire Ohio State team seemed to be fired up with aggressive kills and big blocks on the net throughout the second set. Hervoir finished the second set with eight kills and two blocks. Throughout the remainder of the match, Hervoir didn’t let off, racking up a career-high 24 kills.“I didn’t play very well when we were playing away,” Hervoir said. “We had a super long streak away and it was really hard for me mentally I was really focused today because I wanted to be better and come back hard in my gym and show that I will be here hard in conference.”On Saturday in the team’s final home match of the year, Ohio State will play No. 10 Lewis, which beat the Buckeyes 3-0 on Feb. 22 and ended their 28-match MIVA winning streak.Hanson said he feels good about playing Lewis after seeing what his team was able to do against another quality opponent during Thursday’s match.“My personal feeling is Loyola’s a more balanced team, that they have more offensive weapons that can really hurt you at a high level,” he said. “Lewis has a couple good players but I think if we can kind of control their couple of guys, it should be hopefully in our favor. I think that if we play the kind of volleyball that we played tonight, we’ll be in a really good spot.”
Ohio State then-redshirt sophomore tight end Rashod Berry (13) shakes off a defender while running the ball in the third quarter of the Ohio State-UNLV game on Sep. 23. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State doesn’t have much room to complain about the year-to-year cycle of losing and replacing players. Massive turnover is just part of the cycle as a college football program — and given their recruiting prowess, the Buckeyes have it easy. That does not mean things always run smoothly.A large base of high-level talent means the program loses players to the NFL every year. The coaches have pressure to turn first-year starters into NFL-caliber players. And while coaching and developing those athletes, the staff must prepare for the future by recruiting against the nation’s top teams.The cycle often changes. Last year, the Buckeyes had several second-year players at key positions. They entered the season returning its starting quarterback, an All-American center, a bookend left tackle, the deepest defensive end group in the country and an experienced group of linebackers.But as spring wraps up, Ohio State once again is in the position of relying on a smattering of first-year players to step up into roles in which they are relied to be major contributors. That, of course, begins at the quarterback position, but extends elsewhere. Out went J.T. Barrett, Rimington Trophy winning center Billy Price, first-team All-Big Ten left tackle Jamarco Jones and tight end Marcus Baugh, a two-year starter.Ohio State then-freshman defensive end Chase Young (2) attempts to take down Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke (10) in the second half of the Ohio State-Michigan State game on Nov. 11. Ohio State won 48-3. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDefensive ends Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes, along with defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle, are gone. Behind them, the defense lost its leader in linebacker Chris Worley and two-year starting linebacker Jerome Baker. Safety Damon Webb and cornerback Denzel Ward also have left the team.The Buckeyes will likely have first-year starters at tight end, center, right tackle, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, safety and cornerback. The large amount of new starters is not necessarily a bad thing to head coach Urban Meyer, who preaches competition — even at quarterback.“There’s zero stress, minimal stress when you have great players that are competing,” Meyer said on March 5.Despite the anticipation that Ohio State will rely heavily on unproven players, optimism about the situation is not hard to find. Because the Buckeyes have recruited better than ever before, the expectation exists that former five-star recruits and four-star prospects will step into primary roles in the fall.Several former five-star prospects — sophomores defensive end Chase Young, linebacker Baron Browning and cornerbacks Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade — will compete for open spots, along with many four-stars and a few three-stars. Even when a former three-star prospect — like sophomore Thayer Munford, who is penciled in as the starting right tackle — grabs a spot, he is seen as a worthy starter because he beat out highly regarded recruits for the role.The expectation also differs by position. Not only are Okudah and Wade former five-stars, but they play a position at which Ohio State has had immense success. Whoever wins the starting center role — Brady Taylor, Josh Myers or Matt Burrell — will feel massive pressure in replacing Ohio State’s second consecutive Rimington winner. That is especially true on the defensive line, historically a position group of strength that does not just hope to have a major impact, but views that as a necessity.Ohio State freshman cornerback Jeffrey Okudah (29) breaks up a pass in the fourth quarter of the 2017 Cotton Bowl against University of Southern California on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“I think the standard’s been set,” Meyer said. “We just can’t drop below that.”But not everyone pans out, which often gets forgotten. Redshirt junior cornerbacks Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette, junior wideouts Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor and redshirt senior linebacker Dante Booker slid into starting roles with opportunities to take advantage with big seasons. Though none completely failed in their roles, none significantly broke through. So while Ohio State should be confident in redshirt junior tight end Rashod Berry, sophomore safety Isaiah Pryor and redshirt sophomore defensive end Jonathon Cooper taking a step forward, a cautiously optimistic attitude might be the best approach.This situation is not new for Ohio State. Nor is it unfamiliar to Meyer. And sometimes, despite the lack of experience, a fresh group of talent works well.In 2014, the last time Meyer returned to Columbus with a national-championship trophy, the Buckeyes’ core consisted of first-year players in key positions. In his first season as the starter, Barrett tossed passes to first-year starter Michael Thomas and handed the ball off to first-year starter Ezekiel Elliott. A bevy of first-year starters — Darron Lee, Vonn Bell, Tyvis Powell, Steve Miller and Eli Apple — helped turn the defense into a feared unit.In a sport with more than 130 teams at the Division I level, it might seem insane to see a national championship berth — or, at the very least, a College Football Playoff appearance — as an expectation. But Meyer did not just earn a $1.2 million raise to view a New Year’s Six bowl game as a success. Ohio State did not make offensive coordinator Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano the first two million-dollar assistant coaches in program history with the goal of anything other than a national championship.In order to raise the level of play to that level, the Buckeyes must ensure a high level of play from their first-year starters.
Ohio State redshirt senior wide receiver K.J. Hill (14) catches a pass during the first half of the game against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 21. Ohio State won 76-5. Credit: Amal Saeed | Photo EditorOhio State football is a perennial powerhouse, not just contending for conference titles, but vying alongside blue chip programs such as Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma for national supremacy.This year, both the defensive and offensive ends of the ball clicked almost immediately for Ohio State — something that hasn’t happened in recent years. Even special teams have seemed to improve, blocking punts in back-to-back weeks and a field goal the week prior.But does demolishing small schools warrant arguments for rings and championship trophies this early on? Since 2014, Ohio State has made sure to include a tough early-season nonconference opponent in order to stand out to the College Football Playoff selection committee. These difficult early opponents served as teachers that taught Ohio State valuable lessons for their season.In 2014 it was Virginia Tech, whose win over the Buckeyes showed the flaws in Ohio State’s offensive line and quarterback play, as then-redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett finished 9-for-29 passing after being sacked seven times. Ohio State went on to win the national championship, with the offensive line plowing the way for three consecutive 200-yard games against No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Oregon.Ohio State learned further lessons during its home-and-away series against Oklahoma in 2016 and 2017, which gave the team early metrics by which it could test its mettle.This past season it was then-No. 15 TCU, but this year, there’s no teacher in Ohio State’s nonconference schedule, which is comprised of three non-Power Five opponents: Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio), that acted more as scrimmages than real contests.Throw in a weak conference adversary in Indiana, and Ohio State has racked up 214 points while giving up just 36.Sure, TCU may have opted out of playing in Columbus in 2019, which would’ve given the Buckeye schedule more gravitas this season, but nonetheless, Ohio State enters Big Ten play having had no test to prove its merit.Yes, sophomore quarterback Justin Fields’ 880 passing yards and 19 total touchdowns are sensational thus far, but they also feel somewhat expected considering the level of opponent. Fields hasn’t faced players like Penn State sophomore defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos or Michigan State senior defensive end Kenny Willekes. Granted, the offensive line ought to be able to protect the pocket against these defenders, but Fields hasn’t felt the defensive pressure the Big Ten is known for. Defensively, the Buckeyes have shown no mercy. Junior defensive end Chase Young — who might be better than the Bosa brothers — and junior cornerback Jeffrey Okudah proved that the Silver Bullets weren’t messing around this year. Young has already charted an NCAA-leading seven sacks while Okudah’s interception against Miami freshman quarterback Brett Gabbert was the last straw for the already frustrated Redhawks. But Miami — like Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati and Indiana — is nowhere near the offensive powers that make up the best of the Big Ten. If Ohio State goes all the way into College Football Playoff as some believe it will, what will the game plan be against reigning champion Clemson or Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s horde of offensive playmakers?All three Ohio State units have worked in unison to produce these high-scoring blowouts, but they have faced no real competition to date. That changes with the three game slate of Nebraska, No. 25 Michigan State and No. 8 Wisconsin on the horizon.
Eight in ten hospitals are not safe enough, with rising numbers overloaded by a crisis in care of the elderly which is approaching “tipping point,” NHS watchdogs have warned.A major report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reveals Accident & Emergency departments buckling and patients suffering harmful blunders as pressures mount.In an unprecedented plea, the head of the regulator called on the Government to boost funding for social care.It came as local government leaders warned of a £2.6bn funding gap, and said £1.3bn was needed urgently to prevent the collapse of the sector, as care home operators go bust.The Local Government Association said the country faced the risk of “widespread market failure” which could force the evictions of thousands of pensioners, and increase strain on the health service.The CQC report follows inspections of more than 20,000 care homes, NHS trusts and GP surgeries.Overall, eight in ten hospital trusts were ranked as inadequate or requiring improvement for safety, along with one third of care homes and a quarter of doctors’ practices. No hospitals achieved the best ranking for safety, while one in five was rated good. The NHS is facing pressures fuelled by lack of funding for social care, the new report saysCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Latest figures suggest more than one million elderly people are living with “unmet social care needs” – an increase of 200,000 people in five years.Mr Behan said the trend, combined with nursing home closures, care providers terminating contracts, and the failure of some of the worst services to improve meant the sector faced a crisis the like of which he had never seen. “I am now in my 38th year working in health and care services and I can’t recall a time when those five factors have occurred together,” he said.Investment in services to help older people to live independently would reduce pressure on hospitals, which have become increasingly overstretched, the watchdog said.“This is about help with activities for daily living – washing, feeding, cooking, cleaning,” Mr Behan said. “We are raising this issue because we think urgent action needs to be taken,” he said. “We think more resources need to be made available.”Making a direct plea to ministers, he said: “We can’t carry on like this.”The regulator raised fears that the care sector could face a wave of closures, piling still more pressure on hospitals.“There are indications that the sustainability of adult social care is approaching a tipping point,” the report warns.Rising numbers of pensioners were being denied help to wash, eat and dress, increasing the risk they would end up in hospital, the watchdog said. The watchdog said failings included a failure to learn from blunders such as surgery on the wrong part of the body, or from errors mixing up medication.The head of the CQC said hospitals were struggling because they were attempting to look after too many elderly patients who were not getting enough help from social care.David Behan, CQC chief executive, said he had never experienced a crisis on such a scale, during almost 40 years working in health and social care. Too many elderly people are ending up stuck in hospital, for want of social care, the CQC saysCredit:Andrew Fox ‘The care provider market cannot carry on as it is and there is a real danger of more widespread market failure. Either care is properly funded or providers will pull out of council contracts or in worst case scenario go bust’Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Local Government Association ‘We are raising this issue because we think urgent action needs to be taken. We think more resources need to be made available’David Behan, chief executive, Care Quality Commission The report highlights the first criminal prosecutions of care homes, with two homes fined over the deaths of residents last year.Kevin McNally, 62, died after breaking his neck at a home owned by St Anne’s Community Services in Birstall, West Yorkshire, amid supervision failings, while Dennis Wootton, 78, died at Coton Hill House in Shrewsbury after being denied crucial medication. Social care services have seen an 11 per cent cut in funding since 2010, amid cuts to council budgets, leading to a 26 per cent reduction in the number of people receiving state funded care.In a submission to the Treasury, the Local Government Association will today say the sector is facing a funding gap of at least £2.6 billion – and say an immediate injection of £1.3bn is needed to prevent the collapse of the sector.The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said the crisis would otherwise see more care homes pull out of the publicly-funded care market or go bust.The remaining funding is needed to meet the extra costs of an ageing population, inflation, and the cost of paying the National Living Wage, the body says, in a submission which urges the Government to use income from extra business rates to plug the gap.Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Our analysis shows the sheer scale of the funding crisis we face in social care, both now and in the near future, as well as the damage done from the historic underfunding of adult social care.” “The care provider market cannot carry on as it is and there is a real danger of more widespread market failure. Either care is properly funded or providers will pull out of council contracts or in worst case scenario go bust.”Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association said the report made “sobering reading” while Joyce Robins, from Patient Concern, said the picture painted was “horrifying.”Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “When any regulator says that it is worried that a service may be reaching a tipping point in terms of quality and sustainability, it is clearly time for very serious concern.”Next month’s Autumn Statement is an opportunity for the Government to give social care the priority it deserves in terms of public spending and this report shows how important it is that the Government acts.Simon Stevens, head of the health service has repeatedly said any extra funding should go towards easing pressures on social care, with thousands of elderly people in hospital, for want of care in their own homes.A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The NHS is performing well at a time of increasing demand – the Government is investing £10 billion to fund its own plan for the future, and crucially is ensuring that the amount of money available to local authorities for social care is rising in future years of the Parliament, reaching up to £3.5 billion extra by 2020.”Warning over GP practices which fail basic safety standardsMore than 800,000 people are registered with a GP practice which is “inadequate” in terms of safety, regulators have warned.The CQC said it was “concerned” that some GP surgeries in England were delivering “unacceptable standards of care”.Inspections undertaken at half of the GP practices in England concluded that 26 per cent of practices were inadequate or required improvement for safety.Among them were 180 practices with the lowest rating, serving 800,000 patients.In some, inspectors found clinical waste – which can include blood, urine and used needles – had not been properly disposed.In others, medicines were not being stored correctly, while equipment for medical emergencies was not maintained. The report states: “We have concerns about safety. There is still a proportion of practices delivering unacceptable standards of care – about 800,000 people were registered with practices that were rated inadequate for safety.”It comes as a leaked memo suggests that GP practices which are not good enough should be allowed to “fail and wither.”The letter from regional health officials said NHS England would no longer be able to support struggling practices which could not provide a quality service. The number of people aged 85 and over has risen by one third since 2000Credit:John Stillwell/PA The head of the watchdog raised concerns that successive Governments had failed to face up to a mounting crisis. “I think this is one of the biggest social policy challenges of our time,” Mr Behan said, pointing out that none of the party leaders mentioned the issue during their party conference speeches.In the report, Mr Behan raised fears about care home closures, and the withdrawal of home care from those who need it.“We are becoming concerned about the fragility of the adult social care market, with evidence suggesting that it might be approaching a ‘tipping point,’” he writes.“The combination of a growing, ageing population, more people with long-term conditions and a challenging financial climate means increased need but reduced access. The result is that some people are not getting the help they need – which in turn creates problems in other parts of the health and care system, such as overstretched A&E departments or delays in people leaving hospital.”
A driver dialled 999 as his out-of-control car hurtled along a motorway at more than 110mph and said that the cruise control was stuck open and he could not stop, an inquest heard.An operator heard company director Kaushal Gandhi being killed as his car crashed into the back of a stationary lorry during the eight-minute emergency call.A recording of the 32-year-old’s call to police was played to a coroner, who heard he struggled at the controls of his white Skoda Octavia as it reached speeds of 119mph on the M40 before the fatal impact.Mr Gandhi had told the emergency call handler that the cruise control had stuck open and he was accelerating out of control. The inquest heard the car had a button to start and stop the engine instead of an ignition key and as Mr Gandhi pushed it, the engine kept escalating to high revs. The coroner was told that a retired firefighter driving an Ocado HGV on the opposite side of the road recalled to police how the white Skoda crashed into the truck 600 yards after the M40 merged into the A40 Western Avenue shortly after 3am.Robert Hague, the witness, said: “Just a millisecond after it whooshed past me, I heard a bang.”Mr Hague called the emergency services immediately after he used the A40 junction’s motorway to go back to the scene.He told the inquest: “The car was almost completely embedded in the lorry, the roof of the car was peeled back. The car had knocked the rear axle of the lorry a long way forward into the front axle.”Martin Clatworthy, a vehicle data examiner and safety specialist for Volkswagen, the makers of the Skoda, told the inquest that the airbag systems gave the speed, steering, accelerator pedal position and braking of the Skoda in the five seconds before the crash.The inquest heard that the main car part that recorded the data was destroyed in the collision, but it had fed the information to the vehicle’s airbag system.That data revealed the Skoda was travelling at 116mph with the accelerator pedal fully depressed five seconds before the crash.No braking was recorded, but there was evidence of small steering left and right as dashcam footage from Mr Hague’s HGV showed the car veering from the middle lane into nearside lane, where the motorway merged with A40.The car continued to accelerate and hit a top speed of 119mph with the accelerator pedal pressed two-thirds of the way down, two seconds before the impact at 94mph when it was fully off, the inquest heard.Mr Clatworthy said: “There is no indication that there was any error or problem with any of the electronic systems of the car in the five seconds leading up to the collision.” The incident unfolded on the M40 in BuckinghamshireCredit:INS The crash happened near junction 1 of the M40 in BuckinghamshireConcluding the inquest, Mr Butler recorded a narrative verdict.He said: “Shortly after 0300 hours on February 2 2016 the Skoda Octavia motor car being driven by Mr Gandhi was in collision with a Scania truck which was parked for the night in a lay-by on the eastbound carriageway of the A40 Western Avenue, approximately 600 metres east of the M40 junction 1. Mr Gandhi died instantly.”Two seconds prior to the impact the Skoda had reached a speed of 192 km/h (119 mph) based on analysis of data retrieved from the vehicle’s airbag deployment system.”At the time off the impact the speed of the vehicle was 152 km/h (94 mph). The accelerator pedal is recorded as having been depressed fully, five seconds prior to the impact but not depressed at all at 1.5 seconds prior to the impact. The steering input data indicates small deviations left and right during the last five seconds.”In the eight-and-a-half minute period prior to the collision Mr Gandhi had been engaged in a phone conversation with Thames Valley Police.”He added: “The vehicle was badly damaged in the collision but subsequent extensive investigations have not revealed any evidence of the faults described by Mr Gandhi.” The driver said the cruise control on his Skoda Octavia had stuck open and was accelerating out of control. File pictureCredit:INS Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The coroner was told the car was finally brought to a halt when it careered off the motorway and into a lay-by where the flat-bed lorry was parked.Emergency services who arrived at the scene soon after the crash found Mr Gandhi’s body in the wreckage. The car was embedded under the lorry up to the back wheels.The inquest in Beaconsfield, Bucks, heard the motorist told police his car was driving itself as it reached 119mph two seconds before the collision with the stationary 18-tonne lorry.Mr Gandhi’s eight-and-a-half minute 999 call was played to the inquest. The coroner heard the Skoda hit the three-axle HGV with such force that its rear axle was pushed to the front of the trailer. The Skoda was found with its roof peeled off up to its rear wheels.Senior coroner Crispin Butler said that data analysis from the car’s airbag systems failed to provide evidence of the defects Mr Gandhi, from Harrow, London, was describing to the police moments before his death.The inquest heard Mr Gandhi, the director of Rehncy Shaheem Chartered Accountants, in Greenford, west London, told the male police call handler: “My car is not coming out of the cruise control.”I have just passed the exit of the M40 towards Slough. It is not letting me stop. It [the speedometer] shows 70mph, but I think I am going much faster than this.”The call handler from Thames Valley Police asked: “Can you slow to a stop by braking? Can you try to control the car’s speed using your gears?””I am trying. It is not stopping at neutral,” said Mr Gandhi, before a faint beep could be heard as he tried turning off his engine by pressing the start-stop button.”I have kept pressing the button, but all it makes is a noise,” he said. “My speed is increasing. I think what has happened was I tried to change the mode on the car, because I was on the sports mode. I pressed a button to come onto the normal mode and then it is not allowing me to do anything.” I have kept pressing the button, but all it makes is a noise. My speed is increasingKaushal Gandhi in his 999 call Police collision investigator Andrew Evans said Mr Gandhi’s account of his vehicle’s positions during his call to police was backed up by video footage taken by Highways England cameras of his car on the M40.Mr Evans, who said there were no skid marks near the lay-by, added that the faults Mr Gandhi described meant that the Skoda would have had to have suffered a simultaneous mechanical and electronic failure.He said: “We would have to have had an electronic failure earlier and also a mechanical failure of the clutch as well.”If you are in sixth gear and you need to knock it into neutral at those speeds, you should be able to do that without using the clutch.”He explained that applying the handbrake could have saved Mr Gandhi’s life by forcing the car’s rear wheels to lock up and turn it around so it skidded backwards.The coroner ruled out any suggestion that that Mr Gandhi, of Harrow, Middlesex, had deliberately taken his own life.Mr Gandhi, who was born in Mumbai, India, had many interests including archery, sky diving and had recently got back in touch with an ex-girlfriend in India after his marriage ended in February 2015.”This was not a matter that caused Kaushal any concerns,” said Gatinder Kaur, a friend and work colleague. “He was on top of the world, he had everything to live for.”She added: “He kept his car immaculately spotless, it was one of his passions. He was a good driver and he did not mention the car had any problems. I know Kaushal would not drink and drive, he was meticulous about this.”The coroner said a post-mortem examination at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford gave the cause of death as multiple injuries. A toxicology report showed no substances that would affect Mr Gandhi’s driving in his blood at the time. The driver, whom the inquest heard was a car enthusiast and a “meticulous” driver, asked the call handler if a lane could be closed ahead of him as he approached a junction with the A40 at Denham, Bucks.”It is just gone 77mph right now,” he said. The call handler was then heard asking if he had tried pulling on the handbrake.”I haven’t tried it (using the handbrake) because at this speed I am not sure what will happen. I am in the middle lane right now, there is no traffic. Do you want me to try the handbrake?”The call handler, who was then seeking advice from a colleague, got no response to a question and the crash then happened.The coroner heard that the phone connection was lost moments after Mr Gandhi was heard saying: “I am just going to check that, one second… “The call handler was then heard to say: “Are you still there? Hello, operator, I’ve lost the line.”
The air ambulance returned to its Cambridge base at 1.30am, at the end of William’s final shift.Meanwhile, Prince William was also spotted in a park in Royston, Hertfordshire, on his penultimate job.He was seen sitting in the helicopter at around 7.05pm after attending an emergency call out to an elderly woman who had suffered leg injuries following a fall. The woman was then taken by air ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where she remains in a “life-threatening condition”, the East of England Ambulance Service said.A mile-long stretch of the B1135 Wymondham Road in Hethel, home of Lotus Cars, remained closed on Friday as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated.The rural road has farmers’ fields on either side. The woman was struck at around 10.20pm on Thursday and nobody else was injured. A Norfolk Police spokesman said: “In accordance with normal procedure, Norfolk Police has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”An air ambulance spokesman said: “The EAAA crew, which last night included William, attended an incident south of Norwich which involved a road traffic collision-related injury, and a patient was treated at scene for severe head injuries then treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.” Prince William starts his final shift with the East Anglian Air AmbulanceCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley He joined EAAA as a pilot in March 2015 and, after completing an initial period of job- specific training involving simulator, aircraft and in-flight skills, he began piloting his first operational missions in July 2015.Throughout his service, William has been based at Cambridge Airport, as part of a team including specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The helicopter left around 7.35pm without picking anyone up as the casualty was taken by land ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.Tracy Stressing, who lives near the park, said: “I had just heard the news on the radio that it was Prince William’s last day and then a friend called to say he had just landed in the park nearby. I couldn’t believe it and rushed there to take some photos.”The Duke announced in January that he would be ending his career with EAAA and has clocked up more than two years flying medical crews to emergencies. Prince William’s career The Duke of Cambridge flew a critically-injured pedestrian to hospital on his final shift as an air ambulance pilot.The woman, in her 50s, had been reported missing when she was struck by a marked police van in Hethel, about eight miles south-west of Norwich.Officers were responding to a 999 call “relating to concerns for the safety” of the woman, Norfolk Police said.Prince William’s East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) crew was called to the scene at 11.13pm on Thursday and the critical care team treated her at the scene for complex serious head injuries. A statement issued by Kensington Palace earlier this year said William and Kate wanted, as they had in previous years, to increase their official duties on behalf of the Queen and their charity work, which would mean more time in London. The Duke of Cambridge starts his final shiftCredit: Heathcliff O’Malley Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza Hamilton) and Jamael Westman (Alexander Hamilton) shine in the musical HamiltonCredit:Matthew Murphy Jamael Westman’s grandfather Barry Hermitt at his home in West Dulwich, south London Credit:Patrick Sawer l-r Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza), Rachel John (Angelica) and Christine Allado (Peggy) – The Schuyler SistersCredit:Matthew Murphy But for those who can’t afford it or can’t wait there is a way of seeing its leading lady for free. Rachel John, the London-born actress who stars as the glamorous Angelica Schuyler, still sings along with her local church choir.The 37-year-old, plucked from obscurity to star in the musical, is still living with her parents in their modest terraced house in Walthamstow, north east London, during the course of the run.When she can the actress goes to church on Sundays with her mum Patricia John, 67, a retired NHS nurse who came from Trinidad in 1973.Mrs John is understandably delighted and proud at her daughter’s meteoric rise to star in the hottest musical for years. Ms John first got a taste for the spotlight when she appeared with the church choir on the BBC children’s television show Why Don’t You?.“She started off singing in church and the BBC came and filmed her for Why Don’t You? That was it,” recalled Mrs John. “She was maybe eight or ten years old at the time. But it [performing] just came naturally. She still goes to the local church. She still sings in the choir.”The family have given Hamilton their seal of approval. “It was absolutely fantastic,” said Mrs John. Like many of his generation Barry Hermitt faced years of prejudice and discrimination when he arrived from Jamaica in 1953.Frequently refused housing and unable to pursue his ambition to become an engineer he turned to building work, helping to construct London’s Barbican Centre.But, more than 60 years on, the 89-year-old is proud to say he has lived long enough to see a member of his family hailed as a rising star by theatre critics.On Thursday night Mr Hermitt travelled from his home in south London to the Victoria Palace Theatre to watch his grandson Jamael Westman take centre stage in a triumphant performance of the acclaimed hip-hop musical Hamilton.In his first major role since leaving drama school Westman plays Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States, in a radical reworking of the story of the American revolution. l-r Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza), Christine Allado (Peggy) and Rachel John (Angelica) backstage at the Victoria Palace TheatreCredit:Twitter Wallace Hermitt, who attended Reading University, became a respected football coach, initially working with Crystal Palace FC before going on to found the Black and Asian Coaches Association and working with inner-city youth in Brixton.Although his parents separated when Westman was a teenager the family are still very close, according to Mr Hermitt. Jamael still visits his grandparent’s house for a traditional Sunday lunch whenever he can.Mr Hermitt credits Mrs Westman with encouraging the young Jamael to pursue his ambitions.“She is forceful figure, a very strong lady who urged him always to strive for better,” he said.Westman’s grandfather says his verdict on Hamilton is perhaps predictable. “It was wonderful. Jamael was brilliant. He had so many lines to learn and he remembered them all,” he said. “If I could afford it I would go back to see it again.”Tickets to Hamilton are like gold dust and even at £200 each, the premium seats sold out within hours when they first went on sale a year ago. Mr Hermitt told the Sunday Telegraph of his immense pride in one of his grandchildren taking advantage of the opportunities that he was denied when he was a young man.“When I came here I wanted my children to have the benefits of a better life and I’m so happy of what Jamael has achieved, because lots of us didn’t have that opportunity,” he said.“Things were difficult for people like me. It was brutal. People pretended there were no job vacancies when they saw my face. When I answered an advert for a room they said it had been taken. Politicians like Enoch Powell said we weren’t wanted here.“But my son’s generation managed to make progress. Now Jamael’s generation has taken another step forward to do better than their parents and grandparents.” It is perhaps fitting that Westman has made his name in a musical that employs a cast of non-white actors to tell the story of the founding of America in a way that looks very different to the history textbooks.Mr Hermitt’s life experience has also run counter to perceived wisdom.When he first arrived in London he found the housing conditions and levels of education of many Britons worse than those back home, yet he was the one regarded as backward because of the colour of his skin:“When I came here two million people in Britain couldn’t read or write. Much of their housing was in a terrible state. But I was educated and I had a broader view of the world than many of the masses I worked with.”A widely read man – his shelves are packed with books, including biographies of the US president Abraham Lincoln, the assassination of JFK and the great black American writer James Baldwin – Mr Hermitt encouraged Jamael and his 11 other grandchildren to be curious about the world around them.Westman’s mother Susan, a community worker originally from Gloucestershire, met his father Wallace through her friendship with his sister. The pair settled in the Streatham area, where they had two sons, Jamael and Myles, who in 2011 had a role in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Jamael Westman as a schoolboyCredit:Facebook Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.