A MUM was crushed to death while trying to protect three of her children from a runaway van in Dewsbury last Friday.
Shabana Ahmed, 46, suffered fatal internal injuries in what appears to have been a freak accident on Willans Road at around 3.30pm.
The handbrake is believed to have failed on a parked Ford Transit Connect van, causing it to roll down the hill.
Mrs Ahmed was walking her children, Kiran, 10, Maria, eight and Mariam, five, home from Eastborough Junior and Infants School.
Kiran suffered serious injuries and Mariam was also hurt, while Maria escaped unscathed from the tragedy.
But Mrs Ahmed, whom witnesses described as shielding the youngsters, took the full force of the van’s impact.
It struck them near the Chipbox fish and chip shop, having rolled at least 30 yards down the road from near the Madina Academy.
A workman, possibly an electrician, parked the van facing uphill. Mrs Ahmed only saw it at the last second and had little time to react.
The mother of four, who lived nearby with her husband, died at the scene despite efforts from paramedics to save her.
Two builders working on the house next door to Mrs Ahmed’s sprinted down the road and an off-duty nurse also gave first aid.
A witness, who did not want to be named, said: “Shabana was just rushing back from school to cook the builders next door some tea.
“That’s the kind of person she was. She saw the van at the last second and shielded her kids. She probably saved their lives.”
He added the builders pulled the van away and said: “I don’t know where they got the strength from.
“The little girl who wasn’t injured clung onto one of the builders for two hours afterwards. It was awful.”
Tributes including cards and flowers were left at the scene for the mother-of four, who also has a daughter in her 20s.
Neighbour Chris Cain, 32, said: “They were always such a happy family.
“Shabana was a really generous person. She would always bring food round. She was really popular and I feel for her husband. It’s such a tragedy.”