Luton couple and friends killed on way to wedding after crash on wrong side of road
A Luton couple and two of their friends who were travelling to a wedding in Germany were killed in a head-on crash when their car was driven on the wrong side of the road.
The BMW estate hire car hit a speeding Mercedes that was travelling in the opposite direction at around 2.30 in the morning.
Nasir Shah, 51, his wife Nazneen Gull, 48, from New Bedford Road, Luton and two friends from Pakistan, Raja Fakhar Abbas and his wife, were killed.
The driver of the Mercedes suffered life-threatening injuries, but survived.
An inquest into the death of Mr Shah and Ms Gull in Ampthill today heard that the four had left Luton in the BMW estate at around 1pm on May 1 last year to attend the wedding near Lake Constance on the German, Swiss and Austrian border. They arrived by ferry at Calais at around half past seven in the evening.
The car was then driven through France, Belgium and Luxembourg, where they stopped to refuel, and back into France.
They had travelled 656 kilometres in seven hours and had just entered Germany when the crash happened on the L98 Neuried Road at Durch near Offenburg.
Bedfordshire Senior Coroner Emma Whitting said that Mr Shah, who worked as a taxi driver, was driving the BMW and his wife was the front seat passenger. Their two friends were in the rear seats.
German accident investigators said the speed limit on the road was 70 kilometres per, hour but the French-registered Mercedes was being driven at between 105 and 120 kilometres per hour.
In a report, the investigators said the BMW had been on the road for 12 and a half hours and fatigue, night time driving and the fact that Mr Shah would normally drive on the left played a part in the accident.
A prosecution against the Mercedes driver was not pursued.
The coroner concluded that Mr Shah and Ms Gull died from multiple injuries in a road traffic collision. She expressed her condolences to their family for their loss.