Call it a mother's intuition but I just knew my Kevin had died

Birmingham | News | Published:

Grief-stricken parents have told of a tragic night that claimed the life of one of their sons – but which almost took all three.

In the early hours of March 26, 2010, Imogen Brown and Trevor Burris' son Karl was stabbed 10 times in a Smethwick nightclub and taken to City Hospital.

Later that morning after hearing their brother was going into theatre, Kevin and Kelvin Burris, along with three friends, jumped into their car to race to the hospital.

But en route Kevin lost control, and the car smashed into a camera stanchion on Dudley Road in Winson Green.

Kevin, a 29-year-old father of one, was killed in the crash. Luckily the other four passengers, including Kelvin, survived.

Ms Brown, who is better known as Gene, has since covered her bedroom wall in pictures of Kevin, so he is the first and last thing she sees every day.

Recalling that fateful night, she said: "I was in the hospital when the car crash happened, I heard over the police radio there had been a crash.

"Call it mother's intuition, but I just knew. My daughter said she had seen the car outside and it wasn't Kevin, but I asked her 'so how come I feel the way I do?'"

She then had a phone call from Trevor about the crash, and ran to the scene, where she collapsed and passed out upon the realisation that it was her son.


As the police would not let her past the cordon to the car, she sat in the road awaiting news.

She said: "I knew Kevin had died, I felt his presence."

Trevor, who works at the Land Rover plant in Solihull, had raced to Birmingham from work after he heard about the stabbing, and was at the scene of the crash when he was told about Kevin.

He said: "Nearly three quarters of an hour passed, until they said the driver had died. I just started to cry."


The couple then had to deal with the devastation of losing one son, while their other two were in hospital – one with critical injuries in City and the other in Selly Oak, with fractures suffered in the crash.

For three days, Gene and Trevor did not tell Karl that he had lost his older brother.

Gene said: "I was distraught, I didn't know where I was going, I didn't know where to turn, I felt sick. One son was dead and two were in hospital."

Around 1,000 people were estimated to have turned up at his funeral.

Gene added: "Kevin was a very loving person, especially towards me, and protective. We used to sing and dance around the house together."

"He was always a help for someone, that's the kind of person he was."

His parents were speaking after the conclusion of an inquest into Kevin's death last week, in which a jury decided he died of an accident.

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