TWO young brothers and their aunt, killed in a Christmas day crash on the M6, had not been wearing their seatbelts, an inquest heard today.
Adnan Habib, 10, and Mohammed Arsalaan Habib, aged four, and their aunt Bushra Tazarib, 32, who were all from High Wycombe, suffered extensive head injuries and died at the scene.
The tragic accident happened when the red Ford Focus they were traveling in careered off the north bound carriageway near Junction 15, close to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs and hit a tree.
The three were backseat passengers on their way to a family wedding in Bolton. The boys’ mother and the driver, Parveen, and their 17-year-old sister Misbah – who were both wearing seatbelts – survived the crash.
An inquest into their deaths today heard the car had been travelling at an average of around 90 mph in the mile preceding the crash.
However, North Staffordshire Coroner’s Court heard that it was impossible to tell exactly how fast the car was going when the incident occurred.
One witness described it as something from a film. Baljit Chumber from Bilston, Wolverhampton, told the inquest: “It was like being in a movie, someone suddenly turned and did a U-turn. At that time I turned to my daughter and said ‘what the hell are they doing?’”
William Marsh, from Penkridge, Staffs, who was traveling to Leigh, near Wigan, said he saw the driver fighting with the steering wheel and hit the rumble strip by the central reservation before losing control.
He said: “I remember the driver looking straight at me with what I can only describe as a horrific look on her face.”
The car then careered off the motorway and hit a tree, causing the tree to fall. The car rolled at least once and ended up back on its wheels.
The inquest heard that it had been raining earlier in the day and the motorway surface was described as “at best damp and at worst wet”.
An investigation concluded there was no evidence for the loss of control but did find a defect with one of the car’s tyres. It also found that other tyres were under inflated.
Mrs Habib, aged 38, told police officers after the crash that all three of the deceased were wearing seatbelts at the start of the journey from their homes in High Wycombe. She was not aware that they had taken them off.
Her youngest son, known as Arsalaan, was in a child seat but only part of the restraint was in place.
During the interview, she said they had “left a big gap” in her life.
North Staffordshire Assistant Coroner David James concluded that all three died as the result of a road traffic accident. He said: “I cannot begin to imagine the impression this has had and will have on the lives of the family, including the two surviving occupants of the car who I think about particularly.
“We will never be sure why what happened occurred.”