Shropshire Star

'Funny and affectionate' husband and dad who gave out free food died in A41 road tragedy

A "funny and affectionate" husband, dad and restaurant owner tragically died after a crash with a lorry on the A41.

Shake Zakaria

Shake Zakaria, aged 50, was rushed to hospital after the collision, which happened between Whitchurch and Market Drayton on November 29.

Sadly, he died the next day after the crash on the road which has been subject of safety campaigns due to the number of fatalities and serious injuries that have occurred.

An inquest into his death at Shirehall, Shrewsbury, was told that Mr Zakaria, who ran the Little Bangla restaurant in Langley High Street, Oldbury, West Midlands, was driving a silver Toyota Auris when he collided with a Scania lorry in the Sandford area at around 3.10pm.

On the morning of his death, Mr Zakaria had driven to Gatwick Airport before heading up to Liverpool to see his brother.

Evidence from the driver of the lorry, Daniel Wylie, was read to the court. Mr Wylie said that Mr Zakaria's head was "leaning forward a little bit" as he "veered across" the road and drove towards him.

The lorry driver said the front of Mr Zakaria's car collided with his truck and "took out" his front axle, causing him and collide with another car.

After getting out an speaking to the driver of the other car, Mr Wylie went to check on Mr Zakaria. He said the front end of Mr Zakaria's vehicle was so badly damaged he could not tell what type of car it was.

"His breathing didn't sound normal," Mr Wylie said. "I was talking to him, saying 'hang on' and that help was coming."

The police and air ambulance were quickly on the scene and took over. Mr Zakaria was rushed to Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Fire crews were among the emergency services called to the scene. Photo: Market Drayton Fire Station

However, he had sustained an "unsurvivable" brain injury and multiple fractures, and died in hospital at around 5pm the next day.

Evidence was also read from a collision investigator, who said Mr Zakaria failed to stay in the lane he was travelling in.

Heath Westerman, deputy coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, recorded a conclusion of death caused by road traffic collision.

A statement from Mr Zakaria's wife Ayesha was read to the court.

She said that she met him in his native Bangladesh when she was 26 and they married there on August 20, 1999.

He was one of 10 siblings and the son of an engineer father and university graduate mother.

Mr Zakaria and his wife moved to the UK and lived in the Birmingham area. They have adult children, Mustafa and Imani.

Mr Zakaria worked as a chemist in his native Bangladesh, but could not find work in the industry in the UK so started working in restaurants, eventually rising up the ranks to become an owner.

He owned three restaurants in his time and was looking at opening another at the time of his death.

"He was a community person," Ayesha said. "He would have schools into the restaurant to teach children how to cook. Then he would do awards for the schools and invite the mayor of Sandwell.

"He had many friends in the communities of Bangladesh and Oldbury."

She said her husband would give out free food to people in Langley High Street when the Christmas lights were switched on, and was affectionate towards his children, always telling them he loved them before bed.

"We all loved him and we miss him so much. He was such a good person."

His family booked the biggest mosque in the area for his funeral, but it was not big enough to fit all the mourners, with many outside filling the car park.

After the hearing, Ayesha spoke to the Shropshire Star.

She said: "He was loud. He was funny. He was caring and affectionate. He would go out of his way to help everyone."

Mr Zakaria set up a charity in Bangladesh in the name of his father, called Engineer Tofazol Ali Memorials.

The charity is still receiving online donations to continue Mr Zakaria's work. To donate, visit