M25 crash: Family pay tribute to 'wonderful mummy' who died

1 week ago 31

Zoe HawesImage source, Facebook

Image caption,

Zoe Hawes was celebrating her 40th birthday when her vehicle was involved with three others in a crash on the M25

By Danny Fullbrook

BBC News, Hertfordshire

The family of a woman who died in a four-vehicle motorway car crash in Hertfordshire have paid tribute to the "wonderful mummy and nanna".

The M25 collision took place between junction 22 (London Colney) and 21A (St Albans) on Sunday at about 04:00 GMT shortly after a police pursuit.

Zoe Hawes, from Canvey Island, Essex, was travelling to a holiday for her 40th birthday before the collision.

Her family said they were "devastated to lose Zoe in this tragic way".

A man travelling in a different vehicle also died in the collision.

Police said a man in his 20s has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

'Heart of family'

A GoFundMe page set up by friends of Ms Hawes has raised over £5,000 towards funeral costs.

The page said: "She has left behind eight beautiful children and two grandchildren and her husband who is in a critical condition in hospital."

In a statement, Ms Hawes' loved ones described her as "the heart of our blended family".

They said: "She was a very much loved mum, step mum, sister, aunt and lovely young nanna.

"She was very much looking to go on holiday to celebrate her 40th with her husband. Sadly a holiday and birthday she didn't get to celebrate."

Image source, National Highways

Image caption,

Hertfordshire Police said a police pursuit was stood down twice prior to the collision between the London Colney and St Albans junctions on the M25

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is investigating the incident as the van involved in the collision had been pursued by officers shortly before the crash.

The white Citroen Dispatch, which was reported stolen, had been first spotted by officers in a marked car travelling on the M1 at about 03:40 GMT.

Hertfordshire Police officers pursued the vehicle twice and called off the pursuit both times.

At about 04:08, the van was spotted being driven on the wrong side of the M25 moments before being involved in the collision, investigators said.

A criminal investigation into the incident is being carried out by Essex Police.

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