Grieving mother releases fatal car crash footage to highlight importance of seatbelt safety

Megan Charles

A grieving mother has bravely released harrowing footage of the crash which killed her 12-year-old son when he wasn't wearing a seat belt.

Amar Atwal was travelling as a back seat passenger in a Mitsubishi Outlander when it was hit by a speeding taxi in May 2015.

The schoolboy was thrown from the vehicle and died two days after the collision on Hollyhedge Road in West Bromwich, West Midlands.

Speeding taxi driver Nadeem Hussain, 35, had ignored 'give way' instructions when he drove across the junction into the car without stopping or braking.

He was jailed for six years in December after a jury found him guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

On Monday, Amar's mother Sukhi Atwal released CCTV footage of the horrific crash as she joined police to start a week-long seat belt awareness campaign.

Tragic Amar Atwal was travelling as a back seat passenger in a Mitsubishi Outlander when it was hit by a speeding taxi in May 2015

The shocking clip shows the Vauxhall Astra taxi speeding across a cross-roads junction straight into the right-hand side of the Mitsubishi.

Debris can be seen flying from the 4x4 as it careers sideways into a tree at the side of the road before flipping into the air.

Sukhi, who lives in Great Barr, Birmingham, said her son could have been saved if he was wearing a seat belt.

She added: "We will never get over the loss of Amar. He was such a bright, intelligent, fun-loving boy.

"He was an innocent victim of the crash and there is now a huge hole which can never be filled in our lives.

"Wearing a seatbelt could have saved his life, at the very least it would have given him a better chance of survival.

"We can never get Amar back, but I just hope by encouraging both young and old to try and be as safe as possible, they won't have to go through the heartbreak we have."

Sukhi joined officers from West Midlands Police at roadside checkpoints to make sure they were wearing seat belts.

West Midlands Police Special Constable Clive Broadhurst has also produced a heartfelt video featuring images of Amar and Sukhi that will be used during school talks.

The schoolboy was thrown from the vehicle and died two days after the collision on Hollyhedge Road in West Bromwich, West Mids

He said: "I regularly go around schools to give road safety advice and urge pupils to be strapped in.

"It can prevent serious injuries or even save your life.

"It has been the law for more than 30 years to wear a seatbelt and only takes a few seconds to buckle up, but it is still surprising the amount of people who don't.

"It is very brave of Sukhi to share her experience and hopefully it will hit home how wearing a seatbelt can make a difference.

"She doesn't want any other family to suffer the heartbreak she has had to endure."

Birmingham Crown Court heard in December how Amar had kissed his mother, telling her he loved her, just hours before the crash that claimed his life.

In a victim impact statement, his mother also revealed his kidneys, heart, liver and pancreas had been donated to help save five lives.

She told the court she was "really proud that other lives had been saved by her son."

The jury was shown the shocking CCTV footage of the moment Hussain's Vauxhall Astra came across the junction before hitting the Mitsubishi.

Hussain smashed into the side of the 4x4, which was carrying Amar and his relatives, causing it to flip onto its roof and smash into a tree.

Speeding taxi driver Nadeem Hussain was jailed for six years

The court heard that Amar's 12-year-old cousin suffered multiple leg fractures in the crash and may now be left with one leg shorter than the other.

The Mitsubishi driver also suffered a brain injury, which has left her with significant restricted eye movement and profound psychological impairment.

Dad-of-four Hussain, from Dudley, West Mids., told the court he was "truly sorry" for his actions, but Judge Francis Laird QC said he had shown no "true remorse".

The taxi driver was also banned from driving for seven years and ordered to complete an extended driving test.

Judge Francis Laird QC said: "The footage reveals a ferocious impact.

"You walked away with relatively minor injuries but the consequences for those in the Mitsubishi were truly horrific.

"The effects of what you did on that fateful afternoon will last with others for the rest of their lives.

"You have presented as a man drowning in self-pity for your own predicament. I have found there is no true remorse within you for what you did."

Officers from Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) will also be monitoring motorways and other routes across the Midlands as part of the week-long campaign.

Drivers who are pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt face a £100 fine.

Inspector Sion Hathaway, from CMPG, said: "We really can't stress enough the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

"Not only do you risk a fine if caught not using one but they can prove a life-saver."

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