TWO brothers died in a crash on Christmas Day after their mother lost control of the car they were travelling in on the M6, an inquest heard.
Mohammed Arsalaan Habib, aged four, and 10-year-old Adnan Habib died at the scene of the accident, along with 32-year-old passenger Bushra Tazarib.
An inquest into their deaths yesterday heard Mrs Tazarib and Adnan were not wearing seatbelts when the car crashed into an embankment and hit a tree, while Arsalaan was not properly restrained in his car seat. All three died from severe head injuries.
The boys’ mother Parveen Habib was driving the deceased – and her 16-year-old daughter – from their home in High Wycombe to a wedding in Bolton when she lost control on a slight right-hand bend as she approached Junction 15.
Collision investigators told the hearing that the red Ford Focus was travelling at an average speed of 90mph for the mile prior to the collision, which happened at 11.25am.
The reason for Mrs Habib’s initial loss of control remains a mystery, but the inquest heard it was likely she had over-steered in an attempt to correct it, causing the car to spin. A defective tyre is also thought to have exacerbated the situation.
The boys and Mrs Tazarib – who was Mrs Habib’s aunt – were all travelling in the back seat. They were properly restrained at the start of the journey, but for some reason Mrs Tazarib and Adnan had taken off their seatbelts – possibly to reach for some snacks – and Arsalaan had wriggled out of his shoulder straps.
Witnesses described how they saw the car spin from the fast lane across the two other lanes and into the embankment.
Baljit Chumber, from Bilston in the West Midlands, said: “I saw the Focus suddenly do a u-turn. It was like being in a movie. It slammed into the embankment by the hard shoulder.”
William Marsh, from Penkridge, also saw what happened. He said: “Just before the slip road I looked over as the Focus went past me. The driver seemed to be fighting with the steering wheel.
“Then the driver lost control and the car spun. I remember the driver looking at me with an horrific look on her face.
“It then rolled and hit the verge.”
In a statement taken by the police, Mrs Habib – who did not attend the inquest – said she did not know what had caused her to lose control.
She said: “I was going to overtake a car in the middle lane and something happened to the car. It was a thud and I just lost control. I don’t know what happened after that.”
Collision investigator Sergeant Steve Deal said the tread on one of the Focus’s rear tyres was below the legal limit, and the tyres were not inflated to the recommended pressure.
He added: “We are unable to identify the exact cause of the collision. In this instance a number of factors may be contributory.”
Assistant Coroner David James concluded the boys and Mrs Tazarib died as a result of a road traffic collision.