AN Iraqi asylum seeker was killed in a car accident while travelling to work on his first day, an inquest was told yesterday.

Farid Jalel was travelling with two other Iraqi nationals when their car lost control on the B1257 Stokesley to Helmsley road, in North Yorkshire.

Mr Jalel, a Kurd who entered Britain in July, had not been wearing a seatbelt when the accident occurred in October.

The driver of the vehicle, Kawan Galat Nader, has not been seen since the day of the accident and coroner Michael Oakley told the inquest at Pickering that he may have returned to Iraq.

The three men travelling in the car had met in Middlesbrough while looking for work just days before the accident and had been offered employment in Malton. On the Monday morning they were driving to work in a grey Mazda, in poor weather conditions.

Traffic Constable Paul Davenport said that the tread on both rear tyres of the car had worn down to below the legal requirement and that all tyres were over-inflated.

"The driver lost control going on to the grass verge and hedge and hitting a telegraph pole. The car overturned and came to rest in the field," he said.

Mr Oakley recorded a verdict of accidental death.