"the vehicle began to skid in front of him"
A university lecturer and his wife were killed in a crash on the M6 near Preston when their car veered across three lanes of traffic and collided with a tree.
An inquest heard that Moeez Subhani and his wife Dr Aimen Rafiq were travelling northbound between junctions 32 and 33 on the motorway when their car hit a tree just after 3 pm on August 12, 2021.
A coroner stated that the Derby couple were wearing seatbelts. But the roof of their Mazda 3 was “torn off” and the pair suffered traumatic head injuries.
Motorists pulled over to help but after reaching the car, realised that the couple’s injuries were extremely serious.
Advanced paramedic David Quirk noted “no signs of life” when he arrived at the scene. He later said that their injuries were “not compatible with life”.
On January 10, 2022, an inquest at Preston Crown Court heard that the weather was fine and visibility was good at the time of the crash.
The couple had been travelling north towards Scotland at the time.
Motorist Charles Barton was in the first lane when he saw the couple’s car pass “close to his car” just before a works exit.
In a statement, Area Coroner Chris Long said:
“He suddenly became aware of a car passing close to the door, the vehicle began to skid in front of him, turning so the passenger door was facing him.
“The car accelerated towards the works exit and he thought it had continued down the road to the works exit.
“He continued his journey home but having been shaken up by what had happened he checked his dashcam footage and he realised the vehicle had gone into the trees.
“He, therefore, came forward and gave a statement to police and provided the footage.”
Dashcam footage shocked those at the inquest, particularly at the speed at which the Mazda, being driven by Mr Subhani, crashed through the trees.
Other eyewitnesses came forward including some who stopped at the scene after seeing the crash.
James Lupton, who was also travelling northbound, told police that the Mazda “suddenly and for no reason picked up speed and came across the motorway”.
Mr Lupton saw the car “hit the kerb which sent it into the air” but when he pulled over and raced over to “check the occupants… he believed there was nothing more that he could do”.
PC Barry Moore said there were no defects with the Mazda or the carriageway.
PC Moore concluded that the university lecturer tried to correct a sudden change in steering but this led to the car losing control a second time.
PC Moore said:
“At the point, the car loses control it is unlikely the driver would have been able to recover.”
It was concluded that the couple died as a result of a road traffic collision.
The coroner said: “For unknown reasons the evidence supports the theory that the vehicle was either steered suddenly or harshly which then led to a loss of control of the vehicle.
“As it went into the verge the vehicle has been rotating and it suffered an impact with a tree at the nearside front wheel arch which caused the roof to be pulled back.
“By the point [of the second loss of control] there is not much the driver could have done.”