Seatbelts may have saved lives of pair in West Bromwich death crash

Sandwell | News | Published:

Two men who died when the car they were travelling in smashed into railings before flipping on its roof were not wearing seatbelts at the time, an inquest was told.

Mandip Singh and Sukbir Singh Rana were both thrown from the grey Honda Civic after it left the road along Park Lane, West Bromwich, on August 14 last year.

An inquest at Smethwick Coroners Court heard that driver Mr Singh and passenger Mr Rana may have survived if they had been wearing seatbelts at the time.

The inquest was told the crash had happened at around 10.12pm and the car had been travelling at around 68mph when it came to a bend in the road.

Pc Nigel Power, who investigated the smash, said tyre scuff marks at the scene had indicated the car was going at 'excessive speed'.

He said the vehicle would have started to rotate, which is when Mr Rana was thrown from the car – most likely through the rear window.

"His seat was back to the extent it would have acted like a ramp," he said.

Pc Power said the car had then hit the kerb before colliding with the railings. The vehicle is believed to have then been airborne for a short time before landing on its roof.

He said Mr Singh had been thrown out of the driver's window.


"My conclusion is that this was down to excessive speed. If the occupants had been wearing their seatbelts they may very well not have been ejected. It may have been survivable."

Pc Power said the vehicle had also been modified for use on a track, which may have affected the handling.

The inquest was told both Mr Singh, 28, of Copthall Road, Handsworth, and Mr Rana, 23, of Oxhill Road, Handsworth, had cannabis in their systems at the time.

The hearing was told witnesses who had come across the crash had reported seeing a woman walking near to the scene at the time.


Police investigated whether it was possible Mr Singh had been trying to swerve to avoid this person at the time of the crash.

But officers said although the woman had never come forward as a witness this had been ruled out by the pattern of the tyre marks which would have been more 'abrupt' if that had been the case.

Senior coroner for the Black Country Mr Robin Balmain concluded both men had died due to a road traffic collision. He said: "

From the evidence it is clear the speed was too great for the corner the car was going around."

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