Expert says fire consumed most of evidence in Ford Kuga death inquest

Engineer John Loud on Wednesday wrapped up his testimony on behalf of the Ford Motor Company in the Western Cape High Court.

A stripped-down replica of a Ford Kuga is examined at the Western Cape High Court on 20 May 2019 for the inquest into Reshall Jimmy's death. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - An expert testifying in the Ford Kuga fire death inquest said the blaze was substantial and consumed much of the evidence.

Engineer John Loud on Wednesday wrapped up his testimony on behalf of the Ford Motor Company in the Western Cape High Court.

Reshall Jimmy died after his Ford Kuga caught alight in the Southern Cape in 2015.

John Loud said the cause of the Ford Kuga fire was undetermined.

He pointed out that even though he found no evidence of an electrical fire in Jimmy's SUV, the possibility cannot be dismissed completely.

“I can rule out the possibility that one occurred in the area that I have ruled out as a possible area of origin. Within the vehicle, I could not rule out that possibility. I found no evidence of it. As an objective scientist, I can’t rule that out.”

Loud played video footage of tests he conducted to prove the vehicle's double-lock feature could not have prevented Jimmy from escaping the burning car.

“It’s not an electrical issue. It’s a mechanical thing. If the door is locked, the handle always opens it.”

The testimony contradicts that of forensic investigator, Danny Joubert, who found the fire was caused by an electric fault in the vehicle’s body control module.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)