Mum who lost son and wife in crash says missing car safety feature would have saved them

Kyle Khan, 26, and his wife Meesha Afzal, 22, were sitting in the back of a Mercedes A200 driven by one of their friends when it crashed into a wall in Solihull, Birmingham

A devastated mum who lost her son and daughter-in-law in a horror road accident has launched a campaign calling for airbags to be compulsory in the back of all vehicles.

Kyle Khan, 26, and his wife Meesha Afzal, 22, were sitting in the back of a Mercedes A200 driven by one of their friends when it crashed into a wall.

Back-seat airbags could have saved the young couple from dying in the “freak accident” in December 2020, Roshni Sajida Yousaf believes.

“The front two have their belts and the airbags, but what have back seat passengers got? In many cars they just have their belts.

“If you hit your head or neck against the head rest on the seat in front with force, you are not going to survive it.

“We should feel safe in the back of a car.”

The driver and front seat passenger, friends of Kyle and Meesha, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries in the crash, near the junction with Gentleshaw Lane.

Meesha, a carer, died from head and neck injuries, while Kyle, a courier driver, died from a head injury, post-mortem examinations found.

An inquest – which was opened and adjourned in December – was told that the car “may have travelled in excess of the speed limit.”

West Midlands Police continue to investigate the crash.

According to the latest Department for Transport figures, there were more than 730 deaths of car users in Great Britain in 2019.

Of that figure, 508 were driving the vehicle, 138 were front passenger seat and 86 were sat on the back seat.

“They (Kyle and Meesha) were lifted up, pushed forward and went back – it was a freak accident,” Roshni said.

“The car mounted the pavement and hit the wall. The front two suffered injuries, but the back two died when they were wearing seat-belts. For what reason?

“What a waste of life. Why not make it compulsory to put air bags in the back?”

She said Kyle’s belongings are still with police as she continues to try to come to terms with what happened.

“To have any form of closure, I need to know what happened, how it happened and who is responsible,” she said.

“It’s been 10 months and I’m a grieving parent. I need to put this in the past.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson told BirminghamLive: “This was a tragic incident, and our thoughts are with the families of Meesha and Kyle.

“While there is no legal requirement for airbags in any seating position, many vehicle manufacturers use them as part of an integrated safety package to meet regulatory safety performance requirements and obtain a high marking in consumer rating tests.

“Vehicles originally fitted with an airbag will fail their annual roadworthiness test (MOT) where a vehicle examiner finds an airbag is obviously missing or defective, or where an indicator lamp is illuminated indicating a system malfunction.”

A Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman said the company was deeply saddened to learn of the crash.

The automotive firm said front airbags were standard and that it has rear airbags in its vehicles, including side airbags and window airbags, depending on the model.

Airbag development started at Mercedes-Benz in 1966, while the first driver airbag to reach production was in the 126-series S-Class in 1980.

Last year it was announced the Mercedes S-Class would feature the “world’s first airbag for rear-seat passengers.”