THE driver of a car that crashed on the M6 killing both him and his passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and had cannabis in his system, an inquest heard.

The hearing in Preston into the deaths of 21-year-old Kamrooj Zaman and Rahna Gul Khan, also 21, from Blackburn, was told their car veered out of control and collided with a tanker.

Mr Zaman died at the scene and Miss Khan, who also was not wearing a seatbelt, died in hospital several days later from her injuries.

Hundreds of people attended Mr Zaman’s funeral in Blackburn. Speaking after the inquest, his distraught family said: “Kamrooj was a loving, caring and family oriented person.

“Seeing the turnout for his janaza shows how much he was loved by our community and how much he will be missed.

“Our family asks you to continue to pray for Kamrooj and remember him kindly.”

The inquest heard that around 6.30pm on May 15, Mr Zaman had been driving Miss Khan’s Peugeot north on the M6 between junctions 27 and 28.

Mr Zaman, who was banned from driving and had no insurance, was travelling at around the 70mph speed limit in the outside lane and was overtaking a petrol tanker in the middle lane.

Dashcam footage from the tanker showed that Mr Zaman then drifted onto the grass verge of the central reservation, before veering sharply left across the carriageway where he then collided with the barrier on the hard shoulder.

Coroner Richard Taylor said the force of that collision caused the vehicle to rebound back into the carriageway where it was struck by the petrol tanker.

He said: “Mr Zaman was sadly pronounced dead at the scene, and Miss Khan was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where she died five days later.

“Mr Zaman was recorded to have died from chest trauma, while Miss Khan suffered a traumatic brain injury.”

Tests on Mr Zaman found he was five times over the drug-drive limit for cannabis.

Giving evidence at the inquest, PC Jason Colclough from the collisions investigation team, said: “Footage from the petrol tanker’s dashcam assisted us with trying to work out what happened.

“Witnesses at the scene said they had seen the vehicle just drift onto the grass verge, rather than it appearing out of control.

“It wouldn’t be an unnatural reaction for the driver to move the steering wheel sharply to the left in an over exaggerated move.

“That reaction has then caused the vehicle to revolve and go out of control. At that point there’s very little the driver can do to regain control.

“The driver had not exceeded the 70mph speed limit and the petrol tanker had been travelling at 56mph, a speed it was capped at.

“The vehicle then crossed the carriageway and hit the barrier on the hard shoulder before rebounding back onto the carriageway where it was struck by the tanker on the offside, Mr Zaman’s side.”

PC Colclough went on to say that neither occupant of the car had been wearing a seatbelt, with Mr Zaman’s locked in place behind him to prevent the warning alarm going off.

He also mentioned Mr Zaman, of Wellfield Road, had been uninsured to drive Miss Khan’s car and disqualified from driving.

He added: “The petrol tanker driver wouldn’t have been able to take any evasive action as he was travelling with 38,000 litres of fuel.

“Attempting to turn sharply would’ve caused further problems, and with a full load, the tanker probably would’ve overturned.

“We are unsure as to why the Peugeot drifted into the central reservation – there could’ve been a conversation, or the effects of the cannabis on Mr Zaman’s driving abilities could also have caused him to drift.”

In concluding the inquest, Mr Taylor offered Mr Zaman’s family his sincere condolences.

He said: “ I am dealing with two separate inquests today.

“In respect of Mr Zaman I will say he died from injuries sustained when he lost control of the vehicle which was struck by a petrol tanker whilst he was disqualified from driving under the influence of cannabis and not wearing a seatbelt.

“Miss Khan, of Preston New Road, died at the Royal Preston Hospital from injuries sustained when she was a passenger in the vehicle that Mr Zaman was driving. She was also not wearing a seatbelt.”