Tuesday 28 March 2017

'I knew then he was gone' - grief-stricken father relives heartbreaking moment he realised son had been killed in hit-and-run

Father Javid Hossain (right) during a press conference at Mosque Hamza in Ashton-under-Lyne, where his 11-year-old son Shah Zaib Hossain was killed in a hit-and-run outside the mosque
Father Javid Hossain (right) during a press conference at Mosque Hamza in Ashton-under-Lyne, where his 11-year-old son Shah Zaib Hossain was killed in a hit-and-run outside the mosque
Shah Zaib Hossain,11, who was killed in a hit-and-run outside his local Mosque in Moss Street West, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, at 4.45pm on Monday

Pat Hurst

A man has broken down in tears as he described how his 11-year-old son was killed in a hit-and-run.

Shah Zaib Hossain died seconds after leaving prayers at his local mosque with his father, Javid Hossain, and uncles.

Father Javid Hossain (left) during a press conference at Mosque Hamza in Ashton-under-Lyne, where his 11-year-old son Shah Zaib Hossain was killed in a hit-and-run outside the mosque
Father Javid Hossain (left) during a press conference at Mosque Hamza in Ashton-under-Lyne, where his 11-year-old son Shah Zaib Hossain was killed in a hit-and-run outside the mosque

He was crossing a road behind his uncle and in front of his father when he was hit by the car and thrown into the air, landing 20 yards away.

Shaking his head, Mr Hossain said: "He was a lovely boy, caring boy. Always happy, jolly, just caring really. Lovely boy.

Father Javid Hossain (right) during a press conference at Mosque Hamza in Ashton-under-Lyne, where his 11-year-old son Shah Zaib Hossain was killed in a hit-and-run outside the mosque
Father Javid Hossain (right) during a press conference at Mosque Hamza in Ashton-under-Lyne, where his 11-year-old son Shah Zaib Hossain was killed in a hit-and-run outside the mosque

"We said our prayers and my son was in front of me, just a few steps away. He'd not even put his foot on the footpath and he was hurled into the air.

"I knew then he was gone. My son's gone."

Shah Zaib was rushed to hospital but died a short time later.

Three men, aged 19, 23 and 27, are under arrest following the incident outside the Hamza Mosque in Moss Street West, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, at 4.45pm on Monday.

A dark grey Mercedes A class car has also been recovered and will be forensically examined, police said.

Shah Zaib had earlier been handing out invitations for his sister's birthday on Saturday.

The boy's mother, Kanwal Hossain, was also at the mosque and heard the collision, and went outside to find her stricken son in the road.

Locals said an ambulance was called but it was immediately clear that nothing could be done for the boy, who had one older sister, and a younger brother and sister.

On Tuesday, well-wishers laid flowers and cards at the scene, the boy's father breaking down in tears as he viewed the tributes.

Police appealed for information and witnesses, and in the hours that followed two men, aged 19 and 27, attended Ashton police station separately and were both arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Soon afterwards a third man, aged 23, was arrested in Hyde, also on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

All three men remain in police custody for questioning.

Sergeant Paul Higgins, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "I would like to thank the media for their coverage of this case.

"We are still at an early stage in this investigation and we still need people who were in the area of the collision to come forward if they believe they saw anything of value to the investigation.

"Witness accounts will be vitally important to this case, and though we do have people in custody I want to stress that anyone with information should come forward and contact the police."

The car involved was recovered by police in Failsworth, Oldham, three miles (4.8km) from the scene of the incident in Ashton.

Locals said the long straight road outside the mosque is sometimes used as a "rat-run" for cars to avoid traffic in the town centre nearby.

The Mercedes was caught on nearby CCTV cameras on a local car repair garage, just seconds before the fatal crash.

Usman Ali, who runs the garage, said: "We heard a car zooming past and after that we just heard a big bang.

"Then after that, told my brother to go check it out, my brother goes to me 'Someone has knocked someone over'.

"I seen a a big crowd over there."

Mr Ali added: "It must be coming down from the bottom, and then obviously picked up a lot of speed, not seen the little kid and knocked him over."

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 4741 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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