Girl (18) killed after stepping in front of van on M65

Lena Begum
Lena Begum
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A troubled teenager recorded a video message on her mobile phone shortly before she stepped in front of an oncoming van on the M65.

Former Sir John Thursby pupil Lena Sheikh Begum (18) died instantly from multiple injuries when she was hit by the white Mercedes van driven by courier John Trainor, of Haydock, around 3-50am on Wednesday, April 10th, last year.

The fatal accident happened near Junction 10, which was unlit at the time.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard how Lena had been in a turbulent relationship with an Asian man known as “Kammy” with whom she lived for a short time in Bradford.

The dental student from Burnley had carved his name into her arm days before her death. She had previously been reported missing from home in Burnley on several occasions by her mother, Selina, and had been known to the police since 2010.

The inquest heard evidence from Lena’s friends Taslema Alom and Marcia Khan, who had been with her earlier that evening.

Taslema said: “I think she was mentally obsessed with Kammy. I know he had assaulted her and I told her to stop seeing him but she wouldn’t listen. It seemed like he controlled her.”

She told how the girls went to a shisha bar and then for a drive that evening with a man behind ther wheel Taslema did not know. “Lena asked us to drop her off near Gannow roundabout but she seemed fine,” she said. “I didn’t think she would do anything.”

Marcia, who was in the car at the time, said Lena asked them to drop her off around 1-30am. She said: “She walked up some steps, turned around and smiled. That was the last we saw of her.”

Police investigations revealed Kammy had been in Blackburn that evening but had spoken to Lena via mobile phone for 30 minutes.

DC Sean Hanna told the inquest: “Kammy told me he had ended their relationship as she had been pestering him. He said he could hear passing traffic when she was on the phone to him.”

In a statement, Mrs Michelle Harris reported seeing a young woman walking on the sliproad around 2am “holding her mobile phone with two hands in the air”.

It later transpired Lena had been recording a video message. She also left posts on Facebook including: “I just want to say a big thank you to all my true mates that have been there for me and my family. Love you loads.”

Accident investigator PC Richard Roberts told the inquest there was nothing Mr Trainor could have done to avoid the accident.

He said: “The lighting in this area had been turned off in 2011 as part of cost-saving measures. It is highly unlikely Mr Trainor could have seen Lena. There was no obvious reason for her to attempt to cross there. She would have seen the van coming for around 30 seconds.”

East Lancashire Deputy Coroner Mr Mark Williams concluded Lena had taken her own life by deliberately stepping in front of the van.

He said: “Lena had been a troubled person since 2010. There had been some issues and she had moved to Bradford. There she formed a relationship with a man which does not appear to have been good for her well-being.”

Speaking after the inquest, Lena’s heartbroken mother Mrs Begum described Lena as “a lovely girl who looked after her two younger brothers.”

She said the whole experience had been very traumatic for their family.