KU student Hina Shamim was killed by a speeding BMW in Kingston. Photo Credit: Rex Features
KU student Hina Shamim was killed by a speeding BMW in Kingston. Photo Credit: Rex Features

Heartbroken family and friends of KU crash victim share treasured memories of her two years on

The last time Natasha Rayit spoke to her close friend Hina Shamim, they were planning to meet for lunch in London.

As Miss Shamim was about to finish her sports science dissertation and Miss Rayit had just started her new job, they were desperate for time to catch up.

“I hadn’t spoken to her in a few days, and she messaged me the day before the accident saying  ‘Hey Tash, I really miss you. I hope you’re okay. We’ll meet up soon,’” she said.

Just one day later, Hina was hit by a racing BMW driver while crossing the road towards Penrhyn Road library.

Rayit, who received the news from Hina’s cousin that night, said it was the worst pain she had ever felt.

Hina Shamim (left) with her close friend Natasha Rayit. Photo Credit: Natasha Rayit

Hina Shamim (left) with her close friend Natasha Rayit. Photo Credit: Natasha Rayit

The two had previously lived together for three years, spending late nights dancing in the kitchen and watching reality shows in Hina’s bedroom.

“I had literally spent all my time with her,” she said. “The first day she met me and moved into the house, it was like we had known each other forever.

“We would always sit in the kitchen and she would be at the stove cooking and all of a sudden she would bust out the weirdest dance moves. It was so funny, we would all sit there and laugh.

“I could always count on her to make me feel better. She was always excited for everybody.

“I didn’t really like to leave the flat that much, we were always at home.

“We would always just tell jokes – we’d sit down and we would just be laughing all the time.”

Hinas cousin Tybba Aziz used to live with her in Pehnryn Gardens. Photo Credit: Tybba Aziz

Hinas cousin Tybba Aziz used to live with her in Pehnryn Gardens. Photo Credit: Tybba Aziz

The two were planning on moving back in together after Miss Shamim’s graduation, along with her cousin Tybba Aziz.

The morning before the accident, Rayit had found a flat she was sure her friend would love, and was going to call her that evening to tell her about it.

“That night, Tybba called me, and all I could hear was people screaming. Her family was screaming in the background and crying,” she said.

“She said Hina had got hit by a car and she had passed away. I felt so sick, it was just terrible.

“I couldn’t stop crying for days and days. I felt so guilty, like I should have called her that day, or if I was there maybe she wouldn’t have been there at that time.”

Shortly after her death, various projects were launched in Hina’s name, including a mosque built in Pakistan and a water-well for poor families in Zimbabwe.

The charities raised more than £20,000, some of which was due to the large amount of publicity they received on social media.

Tybba Aziz is currently campaigning for stricter sentencing imposed on driving offenders. Photo Credit: Tybba Aziz

Tybba Aziz is currently campaigning for stricter sentencing imposed on driving offenders. Photo Credit: Tybba Aziz

One of Hina’s classmates, Islah Abdur-Rahman, travelled to Zimbabwe, and said it was “heart-warming” to discover families and children Hina had never met was praying for her family.

As a YouTuber known for his web series Cornershop, Abdur-Rahman dedicated an episode to the many charities set up in her memory.

“Even hearing her name brings back painful memories of her passing,” he said.

“We were close, I’d spend almost every day after my lectures at Uni with her. She had a lot of love for everyone she met.”

Aziz said her cousin’s killer had “dragged everything up again” by pleading not guilty in court, and that her family had been furious when the case was delayed for two years.

She used to live with Hina and Miss Rayit in Penrhyn Road Gardens, and said her cousin loved to bring people together.

“I would just come home and I’d be really tired from work and she would just start annoying me, like ‘come on, let’s go out, let’s go out, let’s go out,’” Ms Aziz said.

“Everybody I know now, I know because of Hina. I still keep in touch with her friends.”

As Miss Shamim was approaching her exams, Miss Aziz had not wanted to disturb her, and by the end of March they had not spoken for a while.

Several Justgiving charities were set up just after Hinas passing, raising more than £20,000. Photo Credit: RIP Facebook Page

Several Justgiving charities were set up just after Hinas passing, raising more than £20,000. Photo Credit: RIP Facebook Page

After her graduation, they were planning on travelling to Morocco for a holiday, and had already started looking at plane tickets.

“I saw her exactly one week before she passed away,” said Aziz.

They were both visiting Peterborough at the time, the hometown of Hina’s parents.

One of their friends came along as well, and they sat down at a café near the local station, planning Hina’s birthday celebration.

“That was my last conversation with her, planning her birthday,” Miss Aziz said.

At the court case, Hina’s father condemned the drivers’ arrogance, and said their lies regarding what happened had compounded and prolonged his grief.

He described her as a “delightful child” who grew up to be a “compassionate and selfless woman” with a promising career ahead of her.

About Oda Ottesen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*