The Daily Telegraph

Lorry kills woman stuck on smart motorway

- By Phoebe Southworth

A MOTHER was killed on a smart motorway after her car broke down and she was unable to get out of the inside lane, an inquest heard.

Nargis Begum, 62, died after a lorry ploughed into her car on a section of the M1 in South Yorkshire which had no hard shoulder. She died at the scene.

The mother of five was outside the vehicle on the inside lane of the motorway when the collision happened near Woodall Services in September 2018.

Despite Mrs Begum being stranded for more than 16 minutes before the crash, Highways England, now known as National Highways, failed to spot the stranded vehicle and close the lane.

Mrs Begum was being driven by her husband, Mohammed Bashir, who survived the crash. They were travelling from Derby to Sheffield in their daughter’s car after paying a visit to friends.

On the first day of an inquest into Mrs Begum’s death at Doncaster Coroner’s Court, Mr Bashir, a taxi driver, said his wife was unable to get over the safety barrier after their car lost power and he was forced to pull into the far left lane.

In a written statement, read out by court staff, Mr Bashir said: “I heard a loud bang and couldn’t see my wife.”

Mrs Begum’s daughter, Saima Aktar, described her mother as the heart and soul of the family and said her father has “never been the same” since her death.

“My heart aches for just one more day with my mum. Can anyone give me that,” she asked.

In February, South Yorkshire Police confirmed that National Highways will not face a corporate manslaught­er charge over Mrs Begum’s death.

The Government has halted the expansion of smart motorways, which have all lanes running, while a review is carried out into their safety.

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