The family of two young brothers and their aunt who died in a Christmas Day crash have spoken today of their devastation at losing their ‘precious jewels’.
Adnan Habib, 10, and four-year-old Mohammed Arsalaan were killed along with 32-year-old Bushra Tazarib on the M6 in Staffordshire as they travelled to a family wedding in Greater Manchester.
In a statement the family said their ‘joy turned into tragedy in a split second’ when the car crashed into a tree and overturned.
In an emotional tribute the family said: ‘Adnan and Arsalaan were our family’s precious jewels, spreading joy wherever they went.
‘They were happy and joyous boys who were a central part of the family, always smiling and bringing smiles to everyone they met.
‘Bushra had been part of the family by marriage for almost 14 years, and was a vital person.
‘Always helping and supporting every member at all times, regardless of difficulty and joy.
‘Bushra was so loving of all children, even though she was not blessed of any of her own.’
The red Ford Focus the three were passengers in crashed and overturned on the northbound carriageway between junctions 14 and 15.
The mother of the two young boys, Parveen, 38, who was driving the car, and their 17-year-old sister Misbah survived and were discharged from hospital yesterday.
The family said in the statement: ‘Christmas day began with all the joy all over the UK.
‘We, as the rest of the nation, had the build-up to the Christmas holidays, attending school plays and preparing for a family wedding.
‘The joy turned into tragedy in a split second, when we lost our boys moments apart and our beloved auntie.’
They added: ‘We thank everyone for their kind words of support, and we would like everyone to remember them in your prayers.’
Boxer Amir Khan, who was at the wedding in Greater Manchester that the family were travelling to, also spoke of his despair at the deaths.
The former world champion, a second cousin of the bride, was at the wedding when the news of the crash came through.
He told the Sun it was ‘utterly heartbreaking’.
He added: ‘My heart goes out to the families of those involved in this terrible accident.
‘No one could believe it. One minute everyone at the wedding was joyous – the next it had turned into despair.
Investigation: The car is covered in tarpaulin at the side of the M6 motorway as police officers begin an investigation into the crash
Horrific: A recovery vehicle was pictured next to the wreckage of the car as police began to try and establish the circumstances surrounding the horror crash
‘Some people actually left the wedding service to pay their respects – and others were in tears.’
The bride, Rabia Khan, is the former world champion’s second cousin and he was at the ceremony when the news came through, his father Shah Khan confirmed.
Mr Khan said the family were from the groom’s side and that Amir and the rest of the family were very upset to learn of the accident.
Despair: Amir Khan said hearing the news of the crash was ‘utterly heartbreaking’
He said: ‘It shocked everybody. The family is trying to support them.’
The boys’ mother and sister left the University Hospital of North Staffordshire on Boxing Day.
Friends and extended family of the boys had gathered at a local Islamic centre where prayers were being said.
The children’s father was said to be ‘inconsolable’ at their deaths.
A witness said the maroon Focus appeared to have struck a tree beside the hard shoulder before flipping. No other vehicles were believed to be involved.
Chief Superintendent Martin Evans from Staffordshire police said afterwards that emergency services worked ‘seamlessly’ in ‘very sad and exceptionally difficult circumstances’.
He added: ‘Unfortunately the outcome is extremely tragic and our thoughts are with the family of those who have died.’
Police spent more than three hours clearing the wreckage, leading to huge tailbacks on the motorway.
High Wycombe Police Commander Superintendent Gilbert Houalla said: ‘Our thoughts are with the family and the local policing community in Wycombe will be fully supportive of them at this very difficult time.
‘We will continue to provide support, as needed, as the investigation into the collision takes place.’
Meanwhile, the family of the a middle-aged couple who were also killed on Christmas Day have today paid tribute to the ‘devoted and much loved parents’.
Ann Goodrich, 57, and her husband Paul, 56, were being driven by their son to enjoy a festive day with their family, including their two-year-old grandson Daniel, when the Volkswagen Golf crashed off a road near Basingstoke and hit trees.
The couple, from Fleet, Hampshire, were pronounced dead after the crash on Odiham Road at Heckfield Heath, near Basingstoke.
Their son Darren was at the wheel when the crash happened and was seriously injured.
The family said in a statement: ‘Ann and Paul were on their way to spend Christmas day with their son Darren, daughter Hannah and her family, when the tragic, fatal accident occurred.
‘A close-knit family, they were looking forward to also enjoying the day with their grandson, Daniel, aged two years.
‘Ann and Paul, devoted and much loved parents, will be greatly missed.
‘The family thank the emergency services, family support officer and hospital staff for their compassionate care and attention.
‘We are absolutely devastated and request to be left in peace, to grieve in private, at this sad time.’
Darren Goodrich, 29, from Farnborough, is being treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading suffering from serious chest pains.
Hampshire Constabulary is still appealing for witnesses to the crash to come forward.
Devoted: Ann and Paul Goodrich, left, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash near Basingstoke, right