‘Happy, loving’ taxi driver killed in multi-car crash on last job of the night
A man and woman in the first car were able to escape with minor injuries despite “extensive damage” to their vehicle.
A taxi driver killed in a multi-car crash in Birmingham phoned his wife to say he would be home after his last fare before the horror smash, his brother said.
Father-of-six Imtiaz Mohammed was described by grieving relatives as a “happy, loving and friendly guy” after he was one of six people killed in the pile-up near the city centre in the early hours of Sunday.
Three men were killed when they were thrown out of their car while the taxi driver and his two passengers, a man and woman, died after the vehicle was left on its side.
A fourth man travelling in the car, thought to be an Audi S3, remains in a critical condition at the city’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The taxi driver’s younger brother Noorshad Mohammed said his sibling rang his wife Nargas Gul to tell her he would be coming home just before the crash. It would be the last time they spoke.
The 32-year-old said: “It was his last job of the night.
“That was the last time she spoke to him.”
Surrounded by the 33-year-old’s other relatives at the family home, father Ikhtiar Mohammed recalled how his “heart sank” as police knocked on his door at 5am on Sunday.
The 65-year-old said: “I knew there was something wrong, as soon as I saw them.
“I thought to myself, ‘which of my sons is hurt’, I just knew something was seriously wrong.”
He said that Mr Mohammed’s wife, Ms Gul, was still in deep shock while relatives struggled with how to break the news to the couple’s five daughters and son, all aged under 15.
One of their girls had been due to celebrate her fourth birthday on Monday.
.@WMPolice Superintendent Sean Phillips “All of our thoughts are with the families of those injured and killed - especially in the run-up to Christmas” - Birmingham joint @WMAS press conference following Belgrave Middleway crash. Accident scene described as “very harrowing”. pic.twitter.com/m8KJ5rrUsn— Richard Vernalls (@rvernallsPA) December 17, 2017
Older sister Nassrin Bibi paid tribute to her brother and said the family had been “shattered” by what had happened.
Mr Mohammed worked for local firm Castle Cars, which said in a statement: “Imtiaz was a wonderful, young, hard-working family man”, who was “loved and respected by all”.
One of those who died was named locally by neighbours as Tauqeer Hussain, whose family declined to comment.
At the scene on Sunday night, three of the lesser damaged cars were being removed, as police continue to follow up various lines of investigation including the condition of the road when the crash happened at Belgrave and Lee Bank Middleway, near Edgbaston, at the junction of Bristol Road.
Superintendent Sean Phillips, from West Midlands Police, told a press conference : “It is way too early to speculate on the causes of the accident.
“It will take some time to unpick the scene and just understand exactly what’s happened. It would be unfair for me to speculate at this time.”
He confirmed the road had been gritted at 5pm the previous evening.
Asked about what speeds the vehicles were travelling at, and whether all of those involved were wearing seatbelts, Mr Phillips said those will be issues considered during the investigation.
Supt Sean Phillips has described today as "a very harrowing and tragic incident which has happened just before Christmas". We remind anyone with information to please call us on 101, quoting log 175 of 17 December.— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) December 17, 2017
The Ambulance Service, which sent five ambulances to the scene, said it was astonishing a man and woman in the first car were able to escape with minor injuries despite “extensive damage” to their vehicle.
Three other cars collided as they tried to avoid the scene at the entrance to the underpass.
Of those people, two were taken to Heartlands Hospital with minor injuries.
The ambulance service said they dealt with 13 patients in total.