Christmas Day Staffordshire M6 horror crash “like a movie”

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M6 northbound J15 slip road. Taken from Whitemore Road (A5182) bridge 02/12/2013

Slip road to junction 15 (right) where the accident occurred

Two brothers and their auntie were killed on the M6 in Staffordshire after the car they were in hit a tree on Christmas Day.

An inquest in Stoke-on-Trent heard how the car, being driven by the boys’ mother, spun out of control near junction 15 and crashed at 11.21am on December 25 last year.

Four-year-old Mohammed Arsalaan Habib, who was sat behind his mother in a child seat and died in the crash, was only wearing waist crotch straps and not the straps for over the shoulder.

His brother 10-year-old Adnan Habib, and 32-year-old Bushra Tazarib, were also not wearing seat belts and died in the accident.

All three suffered massive head injuries and died at the scene.

Parveen Habib, the driver and mother of the boys, and the brothers’ sister Misbah were both wearing seat belts and escaped with minor injuries.

The family were driving north to a wedding from their home in High Wycombe.

Eye-witness Baljit Chumber, who was travelling on the northbound carriageway at the time of the crash, said: “I said to my daughter ‘what the hell are they doing?’

“It looked like they were making a U-turn ahead of me.

“The vehicle came to rest facing us. It was like being in a movie.”

Baljit, from Bilston, left her car and ran to the scene. She added: “I saw a young boy in a car seat. He was not alive.

“The other boy was hanging out of the window.”

The burgundy Ford Focus the family were travelling in was found to have a defective tyre and was travelling at an average speed of 90mph for almost a mile before the accident.

Praveen said in a police interview in January: “I have lost everything, my sons.

“I just don’t know what happened. I lost control and was not with it, after that I was in hospital.

“I planned to go into the middle lane when my car skidded. I couldn’t see anything in front of me. I don’t know how it happened.”

During the interview, Praveen said all the people travelling in the car were wearing seat belts before setting off.

The vehicle was seen to rotate anti-clockwise while travelling in the outside lane and then spun across the carriageway.

The court heard how someone who was driving at speed could overcompensate while trying to correct a spinning vehicle.

The back end of the car hit and partially uprooted a large tree on the embankment of the junction 15 sliproad, near Hanchurch, Stoke-on-Trent.

Eye-witness William Marsh, of Croydon Drive, Penkridge, said: “I looked over as the car was passing and the driver seemed to be fighting with the steering wheel.

“I think at that point I think the driver lost control.

“I saw the driver looking straight at me with a horrific look on her face.”

Assistant Coroner David James concluded that Arsalaan and Adnan Habib and Bushra Tazarib died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Recording the verdict, Mr James said he believed the two boys were wearing seat-belts at the start of the journey.

“I would like to express my sympathy to the family,” he added.

A statement issued by the family said: “On the December 25, we lost three beautiful souls.

“We as a family are still coming to terms with the events of this day, and today’s hearing although hard to bare, has helped get some clarity into the tragic circumstances that led to the loss of Adnan, Arsalaan and Bushra.”

(Additional reporting by Amy Gill and Daniel Curtis)

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