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Mother runs to crash scene and collapses as she finds her 8-year-old son lying dead in the road


A mum ran from her home to a crash scene after hearing her young son had been involved - then collapsed in the street when she found him dead.


Heyfa Akubar, 43, made the mile-and-a-half journey on foot from Woolwich Dockyard to Greenwich Islamic Centre after learning Mustafa Ahmed had been hit by a motorbike. The youngster was holding dad Mohamed Mao's hand and was walking alongside brother Ahmed Ahmed as they made their way to a mosque for evening prayers.


All three were hit in the crash as they crossed at the traffic lights outside the mosque. Mustafa was thrown several yards into the road and died at the scene. Bus driver Mohamed, 49, suffered severe head injuries and a shattered hip, leaving him in a coma for weeks - and unable to even remember anything when he finally woke, as the Mirror reported previously.


Ahmed, 11, suffered a punctured liver and neck lacerations.


It comes as unlicensed and uninsured Nicholas Hopkins, 20, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Inner London Crown Court last week. Police have since released his mugshot in which he is grinning broadly.


Family friend Swaleh Bocus, who joined Mohamed at the scene to speak to the Mirror, had been praying inside the centre when it was announced there had been an accident. The congregation all went outside. Swaleh said he saw Heyfa come rushing through the police cordon and collapse to the ground in tears - though he didn’t recognise her at first. He said: “I saw a lady crossing the police cordon so I shouted ‘you are not allowed to go there’, not knowing that was the mum.


“She had seen her son’s things, she knew he had died. She just fell down and collapsed and the officers and paramedics surrounded her to comfort her. She didn’t stand up for nearly half an hour, she was just crying. They said ‘leave her! Don’t run to her! She’s the mum!’ She could see the boy.”


Mohamed continues to use the same Islamic centre but now has to be taken by car. However, Heyfa prays at a different mosque. They are hoping to move out of the house and are on the council’s waiting list. “The children and my wife don’t want to stay in the house,” he said. “There are too many memories.” Ahmed - who shared a bedroom with Mustafa - now sleeps with one of his sisters. “He won’t go in his old room, none of the children will," said Mohamed. "Only me and my wife go in there sometimes but it’s not easy, there’s so much memory in there.”


Asked how Ahmed’s recovery has gone, he said: “He’s recovered but not perfectly. He likes to be alone, he’s quiet all the time. He wants to be sitting alone and keep quiet. Before he was more open. He was very outgoing; now he’s withdrawn, even at school.”


Mohamed said he and Heyfa will sometimes ask Ahmed about his brother and what happened, but he refuses to answer. “They were very close, the only boys in the house," he explained. "He doesn’t want to talk about it. We even try to talk to him, me and his mum, we ask him things or talk about his brother but he won’t.”

Mohamed did not even remember who Mustafa was when he first woke from his coma, weeks after the crash on February 19. “I can’t remember anything, I don’t know what happened that night,” he explained.


Mohamed's last memory of Mustafa was a few days before. “I went for a walk, just me and him, along the River Thames near our house,” he said, smiling. “We used to go along there a lot. That’s all I can remember.”


Mohamed needed weeks of therapy after waking up before doctors deemed he was of stable enough mind to tell him what happened. “When I woke up, I didn’t remember anything, I didn’t know my wife, I didn’t know anybody,” he said. “I didn’t know the reason I was there.”


Recalling when he was finally told of his son’s passing, Mohamed said: “It came up after I had speech and language therapy every day for a few weeks. Then I remembered who I am. I lost so many things. I knew nothing at all.” Even on being told about Mustafa - who he could by then remember - he said: “I was still confused a bit, they told me about my son about two months later. When they saw I was speaking better, they called me into a room, with my wife and the doctors and told me what happened.

“It was very bad, I wasn’t thinking properly, but I was feeling very bad. I felt guilty; that it happened because I took him from home that day. I used to think it was because of me. I used to think that way.” However, Mohamed said his Muslim faith has helped him during the grieving process and he accepts he cannot change what happened. “It was our destiny,” he said.


Swaleh and Mohamed are supporting a campaign to encourage Greenwich Council to make road changes to the spot where Mustafa died, including reducing the speed to 20mph and installing a speed camera. However, Swaleh said they felt "let down and ignored" by the local authority as they push to open effective communication.


A council spokesperson said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Mustafa Ahmed and by the serious injuries caused to his other family members. Immediately after the incident we met with representatives of the Greenwich Islamic Centre, and we have continued to do so. We have been working with the Met Police as part of its investigation to help secure a conviction. An individual has been charged with several offences including causing death by dangerous driving.


"The Police have not suggested that there were any issues with the highway that could have prevented this tragic loss of life. While there are no measures that will ever fully protect the public from anyone who chooses to drive recklessly and illegally as a borough, we are committed to Vision Zero: for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from our streets. Alongside Transport for London (TfL) we have identified steps we could take to make the road safer - such as refreshing road markings and as part of our upcoming review alongside all other roads in the borough, will consider introducing a 20 mile per hour speed limit.


"Local groups have suggested other measures that could potentially improve road safety too, which we have shared with the Police and TfL for consideration as part of the investigation."


On November 17, Hopkins, of Burrage Grove, Plumstead admitted causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by driving unlicensed, causing death whilst uninsured, two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and possession of Class B drugs. Hopkins was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing at the same court on January 26 2024.

Mohamed agreed to return to the spot where his son was killed (Image: The Daily Mirror)


Nicholas Hopkins is due to be sentenced in January (Image: Metropolitan Police / SWNS)

Mustafa with his older brother Ahmed

Ahmed and Mustafa were very close

Credit: mirror

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