The road where six people died when an Audi ploughed head-on into a taxi was known as a ‘racetrack’, locals have said.
Imtiaz Mohammed, 33, was killed instantly when an Audi mounted the central reservation of an underpass and hit the front of his taxi.
Tauqeer Hussain, 26, who was in the Audi, was killed along with two other men, aged 30 and 25.
A 42-year-old man and 43-year-old woman who were passengers in the seven-seater cab also died.
A 22-year-old man from the Audi is fighting for his life in hospital.
Imtiaz Mohammed, 32, pictured left, died in the smash in Lee Bank Middleway. He was described by his devastated family as ‘a legend’. Tauqeer Hussain, pictured right, from Small Heath, Birmingham, was confirmed as having been in the Audi travelling in the other direction
Taxo driver Mr Mohammed’s family paid tribute to a ‘loving’ and ‘hardworking’ man following the tragic crash
Mr Mohammed, pictured with his children, was described as a ‘hard-working family man’
The Belgrave Middleway where the accident happened has a 40mph speed limit and is covered by speed cameras at each end. But one camera, near a fastfood restaurant, was said to be inoperative.
A resident who lives nearby said: ‘The road is used as a racetrack by younger drivers.
‘People know that the camera on the McDonald’s side of the road does not work so they go at whatever speed they like. It’s common to see cars racing each other along here.’
Another onlooker, who filmed the aftermath of the carnage on his mobile phone, said: ‘That stretch of road is known for being used by lads racing their cars.’
Police have said the investigation is still in the early stages, but it is understood they are looking at whether some of the victims were wearing seatbelts.
The underpass is one of the busiest roads in Birmingham and forms part of the ring-road around the city centre.
Lizzy Bowers, 18, from London, was in the McDonald’s when she heard two loud bangs. She said: ‘Everyone abandoned their cars and people flocked from everywhere.
‘There was two people lying lifeless about 20ft apart and then a taxi squashed up the wall against another car, which was almost unrecognisable. I saw at least two people trapped under the taxi.’
Six people were killed in the crash which happened in Birmingham in the early hours of Sunday
It is thought the Audi went over the central reservation and hit a taxi driving in the opposite direction. The taxi ended up on its side. Another, smaller, car was also crushed
The taxi driver’s younger brother Noorshad Mohammed said his sibling rang his wife Nargas Gul to tell her he would be coming home just before the crash. It would be the last time they spoke.
The 32-year-old said: ‘It was his last job of the night. That was the last time she spoke to him.’
Surrounded by the 33-year-old’s other relatives at the family home, father Ikhtiar Mohammed recalled how his ‘heart sank’ as police knocked on his door at 5am on Sunday.
The 65-year-old said: ‘I knew there was something wrong, as soon as I saw them.
‘I thought to myself, “which of my sons is hurt”, I just knew something was seriously wrong.’
He said that Mr Mohammed’s wife, Ms Gul, was still in deep shock while relatives struggled with how to break the news to the couple’s five daughters and son, all aged under 15.
One of their girls had been due to celebrate her fourth birthday on Monday.
Locals who witnessed the scene told of their horror at the carnage on the dual carriageway
Flowers have been placed at the scene today, just over 24 hours after the horror crash
Older sister Nassrin Bibi paid tribute to her brother and said the family had been ‘shattered’ by what had happened.
Mr Mohammed worked for local firm Castle Cars, which said in a statement: ‘Imtiaz was a wonderful, young, hard-working family man’, who was ‘loved and respected by all’.
One of those who died was named locally by neighbours as Tauqeer Hussain, whose family declined to comment.
Sergeant Alan Hands, from the force’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: ‘We are still keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and has not yet spoken to us.
‘We are still trying to establish exactly what happened and our thoughts remain with the families who have lost-loved ones.
‘We aware of distressing images of the scene circulating on social media and we would ask the public to not share them and instead pass any footage to us to assist our investigation.’
A taxi driver and his two passengers – a man and a woman – were killed in the crash
Three men died when an Audi mounted the central reservation of the dual carriageway
He previously confirmed the road had been gritted at 5pm the previous evening.
Asked about what speeds the vehicles were travelling at, and whether all of those involved were wearing seatbelts, Mr Phillips said those will be issues considered during the investigation.
The Ambulance Service, which sent five ambulances to the scene, said it was astonishing a man and woman in one car involved were able to escape with minor injuries despite ‘extensive damage’ to their vehicle.
Three other cars collided as they tried to avoid the scene at the entrance to the underpass.
Of those people, two were taken to Heartlands Hospital with minor injuries.
The ambulance service said they dealt with 13 patients in total.