Mother of six crushed to death by runaway car

Sally Cope A MOTHER of six died when a runaway car mounted the pavement and crushed her in a freak accident as her young daughter looked on.

The woman was mown down by a silver-grey Vauxhall Vectra, which had been parked nearby and which rolled several feet down the road and onto the pavement where she was walking.

The 53-year-old woman was with one of her twin daughters and was on her way to pick up the other twin and her 12-year-old son from school.

The driver of the Vectra had parked the car on the corner of Great Horton Road and Union Road in Bradford while he went to a nearby shop, leaving a toddler strapped in the back. The man was last night helping police with their inquiries.

A police spokeswoman said an 18-month-old child had been in the back seat of the car wearing a seat belt when the accident happened, but was uninjured.

Police are investigating why the driverless car started to move in the freak accident, which happened at 3pm on Wednesday.

Insp Angus Rushton, of Bradford North Police, said: "Early indications are that the car was stationary and the driver went to a nearby shop.

"For whatever reason the vehicle rolled forward some distance, we do not know how far, and onto the pavement and collided with a female pedestrian."

Shocked passers-by rushed to help the woman and an ambulance was called. She was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Witness Abdul Shakoor, 36, was working in a nearby shop.

He said: "One minute I saw the woman pass with a child, it was a girl aged about seven or eight.

"The next thing I saw was a car rolling back onto the pavement and I saw the woman on the ground. The car seemed to hit her from behind and keep moving over her.

"There were a lot of people around trying to help. I don't think she was moving. The child wasn't crying, she just looked very shocked by it all."

The woman lived near the scene and had not been named last night. Police were trying to contact relatives.

The road was closed and cordoned off for three-and-a-half hours as officers investigated the site and spoke to witnesses.

Resident Imran Hussain, 35, said the incident had left the whole community in shock.

He said: "The woman and her family moved here from France sometime earlier this year. I didn't know her name, but I knew her by sight.

"Everyone has been talking about it. We think she was on her way to pick up children from school."

He added that at first residents assumed that the woman had been knocked down attempting to cross the busy and dangerous road. Neighbours spoke of their shock at hearing about the horrifying accident.

Nurses Sarah Peacock and Alice Cypiren said they were saddened to hear of the tragedy.

Speaking from their terrace back-to-back, Ms Peacock, 30, said: "I really can't believe it. It's just a horrific tragedy. My heart goes out to her daughter. It must have been awful for the kid to have seen her mum die right in front of her."

Ms Cypiren, 32, added: "We didn't know her that well, she kept herself to herself, and because the family had just moved over from France they didn't speak much English.

"She would say 'Hi' and wave every now and then, but it was mainly her kids that we spoke to while they were playing on the streets."

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "I spoke to the woman's niece this morning and she told me that the rest of the family had flown over from France.

"She said they were all in shock and couldn't believe what had happened."

Anyone who saw the incident is asked to contact Bradford North road traffic police on 01274 376059.

sally.cope@ypn.co.uk