Felixstowe: Hero trucker leapt from cab to pluck miracle tot to safety

It was a journey which seemed like any other.

But for lorry driver Graham Kew, May 14 would turn out to be a day he would never forget.

The 52-year-old had been making his way along the A14 when, at around 4.30am as he passed Trimley, he was met with a sight which will always stay with him.

A BMW driven by father-of-three Akmal Ullah Kabiri and containing his 18-month-old daughter Alisha had swerved violently across the carriageway before rolling and coming to a halt on its roof.

The accident claimed the life of Mr Kabiri, while the force of the impact caused the tot to be thrown from the vehicle into the road – and into the path of Mr Kew’s lorry.

“The dust began to settle and I saw the car on its roof,” recalled Mr Kew, speaking publicly on the horror crash for the first time.

“I then saw a pink item in the road and was going to pass over it thinking it was rubbish.

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“I suddenly realised it was a child sitting in the road, with her legs out in front of her.

“The hood of her jacket was up and I stopped just feet in front of her.

“I got out really quickly, falling down the steps. I picked the girl up, she was crying and I could feel her breathing. I could see blood coming out of her nose and she remained very still.”

Mr Kew’s quick thinking saved the youngster, who suffered only minor injuries in the accident.

And his heroics were recognised at Mr Kabiri’s inquest, held in Ipswich this week, where the coroner commended his bravery, adding that the lorry driver’s actions had prevented “a further tragedy happening that night”.

Mr Kew, from Gislingham and a driver with European Transport based at Ransomes Industrial Estate, added: “This the first time I’ve recalled this story and it has not caused me to cry.

“I feared for her life because she’d been thrown from the car at speed.

“I was just amazed she was sitting there alive. It’s a miracle – that’s what I said to police.”

Incredibly Alisha, now two, suffered no serious long-term injuries, despite being thrown through the window of the car, having not been strapped in.

Mr Kabiri, manager of Maharaja takeaway in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, was also unrestrained and thrown around ten metres from the car. He died at the scene of the crash.

Hugging her young daughter last night, mum Rahima Khanom Layla, of Yorkshire, spoke of her joy that the now two-year-old had escaped with her life from the crash.

She said: “The lorry driver must have stopped right in front of Alisha in the road. I am so relieved he did.

“She fell out of the car and was bleeding from her face and had a pain in her tummy but was not hurt.

“I am finding it difficult to come to terms with the death of my husband but I am so happy to have my child by my side.”