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June 12: Lockdown lifting delay likely; Delta cases double every 4.5 days; Hottest day of the year; Queen’s quip – Car Dealer Magazine

Johnson poised to delay Covid lockdown lifting to July

Boris Johnson looks set to delay the final lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England following another sharp rise in cases of the Delta variant.

Ministers are considering putting back the relaxing of controls planned for June 21 for up to four weeks as they race to roll out the vaccine to younger age groups.

A final decision is expected to be taken tomorrow ahead of a formal announcement by the Prime Minister at a news conference the following day.

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Delta variant cases doubling every 4.5 days in parts of England

Cases of the Indian variant are estimated to be doubling every four and a half days in parts of England, new data suggests.

Public Health England said that 42,323 cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the UK, up by 29,892 from last week.

Growth rates for Delta cases are high across all parts of the country, it added, with regional estimates for doubling time ranging from 4.5 days to 11.5 days.

Football fans to enjoy hottest day of year as temperatures approach 30C

Football fans will enjoy the hottest day of the year so far this weekend, with temperatures hitting highs of 29C (84.2F).

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The mercury will soar on Sunday afternoon, just as England take on Croatia, potentially making it the warmest June 13 on record.

Parts of the UK will be hotter than holiday destinations in Ibiza, Mykonos and even California due to a high pressure moving in from the south. 

Covid-19 vaccine pioneers celebrated in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

The life-saving work of Covid-19 vaccine design and delivery is celebrated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, with a host of awards going to the experts who transformed the UK’s pandemic response.

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine mastermind Professor Sarah Gilbert and the ex-chair of the UK vaccine taskforce Kate Bingham are both recognised with damehoods.

Elsewhere, Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling is made an MBE for services to racial equality in sport amid controversy over England fans booing players taking the knee.

Road safety campaigner dedicates MBE to son who died in smart motorway accident

A road safety campaigner has dedicated her MBE to her eight-year-old son who was killed in a smart motorway collision.

Meera Naran said the first person she wanted to tell about her award was her son, Dev, who died after a lorry struck his grandfather’s Toyota Yaris on the M6 in May 2018.

Naran, from Leicester, has been awarded an MBE for her services to road safety after playing an instrumental role in the development and adoption of the government’s £500m 18-point road safety plan for smart motorways.

Former Lloyds boss knighted after turning around bank’s fortunes

The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group who steered the lending giant back into private ownership after its financial crisis bailout has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Antonio Horta-Osorio is recognised for his services to the financial sector, as well as his voluntary work for mental healthcare and culture.

Friday’s Car Dealer headlines you may have missed

Queen’s quip puts G7 leaders at ease at evening reception

The Queen has asked the question possibly on the mind of every G7 world leader – ‘Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?’

Known for her wit, used to put nervous guests at ease, the Queen’s quip came as presidents and prime ministers smiled for the camera during a photo after an evening reception.

The Queen hosted an open-air reception at the Eden Project in Cornwall and was joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Parkrun events scheduled to return in England from June 26

Parkrun events could return in England from June 26, the organisation has said.

The free 5k Saturday morning event was due to restart on Saturday June 5, however parkrun said only about 250 of the 589 venues which had previously hosted the events had given permission for them to return.

But the organisation said yesterday that more than 500 events now have ‘full landowner permission to return’ before the end of the month.

Lawgistics on the Car Dealer Podcast

Sajid Javid seeks to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18

The legal minimum age to get married in England and Wales could be raised to 18 under backbench legislation being tabled by former chancellor Sajid Javid.

Javid said he will be introducing a private member’s Bill next week to protect vulnerable teenagers from religious and cultural pressures to marry too young.

Currently 16-year-olds may marry if they have the consent of their parents.

Holiday prices slashed in amber destinations

Holidaymakers can make huge savings if they choose a destination on the government’s amber list, new figures show.

Average prices for breaks in Portugal in July or August fell by 64 per cent in the week after the government moved the country from green to amber.

Seven-night family package breaks during the school holidays are available from as little as £180 per person. People returning to the UK from amber destinations must self-isolate at home for 10 days and shouldn’t be travelling there for holidays.

Lockdown easing sees economy grow

The easing of lockdown restrictions in April helped the UK economy grow at its fastest rate since July 2020.

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product was up 2.3 per cent in April although it remains below pre-pandemic levels. In July last year the economy grew 7.3 per cent.

Non-essential retailers, including car dealers, drove much of the growth as they welcomed customers back into stores from April 12 in England, with clothes stores seeing a boost of 69.4 per cent.

Heathrow passenger numbers 90 per cent below pre-pandemic levels

Heathrow’s passenger numbers are languishing at 90 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, the UK’s busiest airport said.

Just 675,000 people travelled through the west London airport last month, compared with 6,769,000 in May 2019.

Naked wines’ sales fizz as alcohol home deliveries soar

With pubs shut for much of the year, online drink orders from Naked Wines have soared, the company has announced.

Bosses at the home delivery business said sales in the 12 months to March 29 jumped 68 per cent to £340.2m.

But despite the boost in sales, losses widened as the company focused on expansion to tap into the growing market. Pre-tax losses hit £10.7m compared to £5.4m a year earlier.

Halfords set to see profits almost double as public transport ditched for bikes

Halfords’ profits are set to almost double for the past year after people shunned public transport in favour of bikes and cars during the pandemic.

The cycling and motoring specialist is set for another bumper trading announcement when it updates company shareholders on Thursday.

It is expected to reveal a pre-tax profit between £90m and £100m for the year to the end of April. The bumper profit, which will also take into account the £10.7m it is repaying in furlough, compares with a £52.6m profit for the previous year.

FTSE climbs to month high after rebound in UK GDP

London’s markets made a strong finish to the week as the FTSE 100 floated to a month high after traders welcomed evidence that the economy rebounded in April.

The FTSE 100 closed 45.88 points higher, or 0.65 per cent, at 7,134.06 yesterday.

The German Dax increased by 0.78 per cent and the French Cac moved 0.83 per cent higher.

McLaren Racing set to enter Extreme E in 2022

McLaren Racing has announced that it will be fielding a car in next year’s Extreme E event.

The electric off-road series ‘aims to use racing to promote sustainability and diversity’ while highlighting the effects of climate change on some of the world’s most remote environments.

McLaren’s decision to enter the series ties in with the firm’s own sustainability plans, which have seen it commit to reducing its carbon emissions.

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Sizzling summer weekend 

Today, England and Wales will have plenty of sunshine, says the BBC. Eastern Scotland will be partly cloudy and dry. Elsewhere, it will remain mostly cloudy with the chance of the odd spot of rain.

Tonight, cloud is expected to thicken across the Northern Isles and north-western areas, with patchy drizzle in western Scotland and rain in Shetland. Elsewhere will continue dry with clear spells.

Tomorrow, it will be dry and sunny for most, but a band of rain will push into far northwestern areas. Very warm and humid across much of England and Wales.

BEM for city’s Gaelic choir conductor who took up the language by accident

THE long-time leader of a Gaelic choir has told of his delight after being recognised with a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

Kenneth Thomson, from Kelvinside, has spent nearly 40 years of his life conducting the Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association (GGMA) after first taking up the hobby by accident – and he hasn’t looked back since. 

The former chief executive of Yorkhill’s NHS Trust was asked by a dad of a friend of his girlfriend – and later wife – Valerie at the age of 18 to cover on his native Campbeltown’s choir for just six weeks, only for Mr Thomson to fall in love with the language. 

But the 71-year-old has admitted the award is tinged with sadness as he is unable to share it with Valerie, who lost her life when she was struck by a lorry on Kelvinbridge 11 years ago. 

Glasgow Times: Kenneth and his wife Valerie, who passed away 11 years ago Kenneth and his wife Valerie, who passed away 11 years ago

The father-of-two and grandfather-of-four said: “I only felt sorry that my wife was killed in an accident a few years ago and she wasn’t here to share it with me.

“But I know she would have been really proud.” 

He added: “I am feeling quite delighted and it was such a nice surprise to get the email.

“The choir has been a big part of my life. I joined when I was 18 and now I am 71, having taken over as conductor in 1983. 

“It was actually kind of by accident that I became involved in the choir. 

READ MORE: Glasgow’s Lulu has plenty to shout about after being given a CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours[1]

“I was originally from Campbeltown and my then girlfriend, and later wife, and I were visiting a friend of hers, whose father happened to be president of the local choir.

“He mentioned they were short of singers and asked me to come along just for six weeks. I didn’t know any Gaelic at the time but I went along and six weeks turned out to be 50 odd years.

“My wife was a native Gaelic speaker but I learned in a crash course at Glasgow University.” 

As well as spending 32 years in the health[2] service, Mr Thomson has received widespread recognition for his dedication to Gaelic singing. 

As a solo singer in the 1970s, he won the Silver Pendant at the East Kilbride Mod and then went on to win the Gold Medal in Stornoway. 

He later spent time as the conductor of East Kilbride Gaelic Choir and has recorded several albums. 

Glasgow Times:

In addition to conducting and singing, he has been a prolific arranger of Gaelic songs for choral singing, initially for the GGMA and latterly for other choirs, quartets and duos.

Mr Thomson has also organised many events in the past to raise money for health-related projects, and was previously inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music[3] Hall of Fame. 

“It’s been a big part of my life,” he said. “The past year plus has been frustrating but we are hoping to begin again soon.” 

References

  1. ^ Glasgow’s Lulu has plenty to shout about after being given a CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours (www.glasgowtimes.co.uk)
  2. ^ health (www.glasgowtimes.co.uk)
  3. ^ Music (www.glasgowtimes.co.uk)

Dramatic footage of major crash shows how quickly things can go wrong

Here’s a rather scary situation that, sadly, many drivers will face at least once in their lifetime. We present this dramatic video here for a few reasons, not the least of which being the camera’s proximity to the events. It’s about as close as you can get to a multi-car pile-up without actually being in it, but it’s also a slap-in-the-face reminder to always be diligent behind the wheel. Because things can go from normal to crazy in the blink of an eye.

Mercifully, only five minor injuries were reported as a result of this crash. It occurred during the morning rush hour commute on Highway 50 in Sacramento, California on 7 June, with The Sacramento Bee[1] reporting it made a complete mess of traffic for several hours. The above video comes from ABC10[2] and captures everything unfolding, and actually, it’s rather deceptive as traffic on the five-lane highway looks fairly light.

For reasons unknown, traffic in the second-to-right lane apparently slows and a beefy work truck isn’t able to stop in time. The large Budget box lorry in the centre lane obscures the view, but the work truck brakes hard and hits a Cadillac CTS, sending the work truck into the box truck as it passes. Meanwhile, behind the work truck is an ambulance that also can’t stop in time, rear-ending the truck as yet another pickup truck smacks the ambulance. Thankfully, reports state the ambulance wasn’t transporting anyone at the time.

Further up the road, the big box lorry is left swerving until it flips over and slides to a stop, blocking three lanes of traffic. It’s at this point we finally see the Cadillac, and we also see there was another white pickup truck nearly at a stop in front of the saloon. The truck drives away from the scene so presumably it wasn’t struck, but there’s no indication of slower traffic in front of it so yeah, the reason for the slowdown is a mystery. As for the box truck on its side, at least one car hit it after it flipped, so that’s six vehicles down and a five-lane highway closed in the span of eight seconds.

Reports don’t list a specific cause for the accident[3] or point to any one person at fault. It’s odd that none of the vehicles caught on camera reacted to potential slow traffic ahead until the work truck hit the Cadillac, but the outcome is the takeaway here. Stay safe out there folks, and don’t take that daily commute for granted. Giving yourself an extra second of reaction time can literally mean the difference between getting to work on time, or not getting there at all.

References

  1. ^ The Sacramento Bee (www.sacbee.com)
  2. ^ ABC10 (www.abc10.com)
  3. ^ accident (uk.motor1.com)

Mummy blogger, 29, did not ‘deliberately’ swerve car into HGV

Coroner ‘can’t rule out possibility’ that mummy blogger, 29, ‘deliberately’ veered family car into on-coming HGV – killing herself and three of her four children – after rowing with husband

  • Zoe Powell, was killed with Amelia, four, and Phoebe, eight, and son Simeon, six
  • Their silver Subaru collided with a HGV on the A40 near Oxford on October 12
  • Daughter Penny and husband Josh survived, although he has lost memory
  • Senior coroner Darren Salter said he did ‘not consider it likely’ it was deliberate
  • Mrs Powell was driving the car when it swerved in front of lorry without warning 

The husband of a mother killed in a horror crash with her three children said today ‘the actions of a single moment have wrecked an entire family’.

Artist and mummy blogger Zoe Powell, 29, accidentally swerved their car into the path of a 36-ton lorry after a weekend spent arguing with her husband.

An inquest heard today that Mr Powell decided to drop their four children off at their grandparents’ Worcester home because he had to work in Bristol on October 10.

Two days later he and his wife went to pick them up after having dinner.

Mrs Powell – said to ‘not overly enjoy driving’ – drove the family back in their silver Subaru when the accident happened at 9.53pm on the A40 overbridge at Wolvercote, towards Oxford. 

Her husband, who spent months in hospital, says he has no memory of the crash. The inquest heard that distraction, fatigue or driver error may have caused Mrs Powell to swerve  – but the coroner added ‘I can’t rule out the possibility it was a deliberate act’.

In a statement from Mr Powell and other relatives after the inquest today, he said: ‘Whilst there is much that we will never fully understand about the crash, it is helpful to comprehend some of the potential explanations of what led to it.

‘We thank the police, coroner and crash investigators for their hard work and thoroughness in it all.

‘The possibility that such a small distraction may have caused such a horrific accident should act as a painful reminder for everyone that roads are dangerous places; the actions of a single moment have wrecked an entire family and had a lasting impact on everyone around them.

‘Whilst it may be unpleasant to conceive, there is not a single driver who has not been in a similar situation but by luck alone they have avoided a serious crash.’

Consultant pathologist Professor Ian Roberts confirmed the mother-of-four and her eight-year-old daughter Phoebe had died instantly from multiple injuries, while Amelia and six-year-old Simeon died in John Radcliffe Hospital.

Mr Powell survived and their 15-month-old Penny was ejected from the people carrier during the crash but survived the ordeal.  

There was no CCTV or dashcam footage of the accident but following her tragic death, telephone analysis revealed Zoe had been dealing with a marital argument before her death and had suffered ‘broken sleep’ over the weekend.

A photo of Mrs Powell and her children released by her family after the inquest's concluded

A photo of Mrs Powell and her children released by her family after the inquest's concluded

A photo of Mrs Powell and her children released by her family after the inquest’s concluded

Zoe Powell, 29, with Phoebe, eight, Simeon, six, Amelia, four, and her husband Joshua, 30. The couple also have an 18-month-old daughter Penny - not pictured - who survived the crash

Zoe Powell, 29, with Phoebe, eight, Simeon, six, Amelia, four, and her husband Joshua, 30. The couple also have an 18-month-old daughter Penny - not pictured - who survived the crash

Zoe Powell, 29, with Phoebe, eight, Simeon, six, Amelia, four, and her husband Joshua, 30. The couple also have an 18-month-old daughter Penny – not pictured – who survived the crash

Zoe Powell, was killed alongside daughters Amelia, four, and Phoebe, eight, and son Simeon, six, when their silver Subaru collided with a HGV on the A40 near Oxford

Zoe Powell, was killed alongside daughters Amelia, four, and Phoebe, eight, and son Simeon, six, when their silver Subaru collided with a HGV on the A40 near Oxford

Zoe Powell, was killed alongside daughters Amelia, four, and Phoebe, eight, and son Simeon, six, when their silver Subaru collided with a HGV on the A40 near Oxford

Investigating officer PC Lyndsey Blackaby said: ‘She appeared to have been awake at 6am on October 12.

‘Zoe was a much-loved and active member of the community, clearly devoted to her four children, her marriage and her faith.’

Today sitting in the inquest was heartbroken Mr Powell, his parents Kevin and Sue and his late wif’s father John Milroy. Appearing over video link was Zoe’s aunt Diana, her mother Vivienne and her devastated brother.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Powell said: ‘On October 10 I was looking after my four children due to my wife suddenly leaving the house after an argument. I was due to drive to work in Bristol so I drove the children to my parents’ house in Worcester.

‘We went to collect the children on October 12, I had worked the day shift in Barking. We drove to get the children and that is my last recollection, being at my parents house in the evening….my next memory is six to seven days after the collision.

‘I would normally drive at night, Zoe had passed her test in 2010 but she did not overly enjoy driving, she only did it to get from A to B. Zoe would find driving stressful…she mostly drove locally but two to three times a month she would drive further afield.

Zoe Powell, 29, with her daughter Phoebe, eight, who were both killed by the car crash

Zoe Powell, 29, with her daughter Phoebe, eight, who were both killed by the car crash

Zoe Powell, 29, with her daughter Phoebe, eight, who were both killed by the car crash

The Powell children who died in the tragedy last year, Simeon, Phoebe and Amelia

The Powell children who died in the tragedy last year, Simeon, Phoebe and Amelia

The Powell children who died in the tragedy last year, Simeon, Phoebe and Amelia

Our Family: tribute from relatives today

‘The conclusion of the police investigation and the publication of the coroner’s inquest bring closure to what has been a very difficult part of the wider family’s lives.

‘Whilst there is much that we will never fully understand about the crash, it is helpful to comprehend some of the potential explanations of what led to it.

‘We thank the police, coroner and crash investigators for their hard work and thoroughness in it all.

‘The possibility that such a small distraction may have caused such a horrific accident should act as a painful reminder for everyone that roads are dangerous places; the actions of a single moment have wrecked an entire family and had a lasting impact on everyone around them.

‘Whilst it may be unpleasant to conceive, there is not a single driver who has not been in a similar situation but by luck alone they have avoided a serious crash.

‘Driving is not as safe as we sometimes wish it was. We all have a duty to always drive to the best of our abilities and ensure that we keep the roads as safe as possible.

‘As a family we encourage the wider public to learn from our heartbreak and please make sure they make the right choices when driving on the road.

‘It is hard to find the words to pay tribute to the loss we have suffered. We are very grateful that Zoe, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia carried themselves excited by the joy of life.

‘In doing so they have left us with an abundance of happy memories that we can reflect back on fondly. The memories of past joy balance the reality that we will make no more memories together and it is hard to escape the wondering of what life would be like if they were still here.

‘We miss them all greatly but are very glad of the times we had together, and as Christians we find rest knowing that their experience in heaven with Christ surpass anything they knew on earth.

‘We have been touched by the depth of support and generosity that has been provided by friends, family, the church and wider community. This has carried us through some very difficult times.

‘We’d like to thank everyone who has wrapped their arms around us and supported us physically, financially and emotionally.

‘Our thoughts go to those who were at the crash scene that bore witness to this horrific accident, especially the lorry driver.

‘As a family we hold no ill feelings and hold no responsibility towards him, we recognise that none of his actions led to the accident.

‘Our hope is for peace for all who have been troubled by the collision and its aftermath. By the grace of God, Josh and Penny have survived this horrific crash with amazingly minimal long term physical impairment.

‘This is in no small part thanks to the public at the crash itself, the hard work of the emergency services and those within the NHS who provided treatments.

‘As we have learnt more of the events before and after the accident, we are blown away by the depth of humanity shown by the emergency services and the huge effort they made to try to save everyone, especially Simeon and Amelia.

‘We have witnessed first-hand the hard work that has gone into Josh and Penny’s treatment, and seen the amazing transformation in restoring their ability to live life.

‘We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved who has worked to not only help Josh & Penny survive but give them their lives back.

‘The family wish to thank the press for respecting our privacy up to this point, this space has helped us grieve and process the horrific events.

‘We hope that this respect continues as everyone involved tries to rebuild.’

 

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‘I brought the multimac rear seat in the summer of 2019, I brought it second hand and installed it myself. All the children travelled well, they would bicker between themselves and they would always sit in the same seats.’

Today the coroner heard how the infant’s seat had not been strapped in properly, allowing baby Penny to be ejected from the car from the force of the collision.

The court heard how the family had been driving along the A40 towards Oxford when it ‘swerved violently’ into the path of a Spanish goods vehicle weighing 36 tonnes.

Lorry driver Adao Patricio – who had been driving at 42mph at the time of the crash and was uninjured – said: ‘The car was less than one lorry’s length away from me when it changed direction and crossed into my lane.. It came across very quickly, it came at me so fast I did not have time to break.’

Following a collision investigation, PC Murray Maclean speculated the reasons that Mrs Powell could have swerved into the path of an oncoming lorry, which included fatigue and distraction which may have affected her steering.

However, he concluded there was insufficient evidence to back up these theories. PC Maclean added: ‘There were no defects that would have contributed to the collision, no trace of alcohol or drugs in Mrs Powell, no evidence that she suffered from any medical episode.

‘I find no evidence that could account of this definitive action on her part.’

Senior coroner Darren Salter recorded a cause of death by Road Traffic Collision.

He said: ‘There is no evidence that this was a deliberate act but as the collision investigator says there is nothing to rule out this as a possibility, I have to at least consider it.

‘There had been arguments that weekend between Zoe and Josh there were relationship issues being worked, through I’ve seen evidence of telephone messages.

‘Zoe appears positive and displays a positive attitude in her last messages, there is no evidence in the messaging or any other evidence that Zoe had thoughts of harming herself or the children.

‘I can’t rule out the possibility it was a deliberate act as the collision investigator says, but I do not consider it likely. It’s more likely to be due to fatigue or distraction, or a combination of the two, and that the steering input was driver error. The cruise control was engaged and at the last moment that accelerator was pressed in error instead of the brake which is a phenomenon sometimes seen.

‘At around 9.50pm on October 12 last year, Zoe Powell was driving her family east towards oxford on the A40 overbridge at Wolvercote when the car crashed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with an oncoming lorry resulting in the deaths of Zoe Powell and her children, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia.’

The mother-of-four who was killed in the fatal collision ran two companies, one where she sold story books and Biblical paper goods, and another where she sold a diary to help new mothers cope. Her company website featured a heartwarming family portrait where she could be seen cuddling in a tree with three of her children and her husband.

Zoe Rose Powell ran Zoe Prose and The Mama Book, two online companies where she marketed her artistic talents and colourful designs, neighbours confirmed. She also had a controlling interest in Skylark and Hare Ltd., a company focused on artistic creation the construction of railways, which her husband, Joshua Kevin Powell, was the director of. The Mama Book company was part of Skylark and Hare Ltd.

Mrs Powell, on her The Mama Book website, said: ‘The mama book is a journal and community that was born out of my own need for a space- a physical place to write and focus and reflect on motherhood.

‘When I created this journal for myself I was feeling overwhelmed by the everyday demands of having three young children. One day in the middle of the craziness of having three 3 and unders underfoot I filled a notebook with all the thoughts about mothering that were filling up my head.

‘Since then I have used it daily, tweaked it and refined it. It is the space I wish I had been able to give myself when my first baby was born, and a space that I am continuing to use through each season of mothering.

‘The mama book is all about bringing you some mental space in the midst of motherhood. Giving you a reason to press pause, and a chance reflect on both your big dreams and also the minutiae of your day-to-day, so that you can head back out into each season of mothering with joy and purpose. It is about inspiring us to keep our eyes on both the small moments that matter and the bigger picture.’

References

  1. ^ Dan Sales For Mailonline (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Tributes to mum and three kids who died in horror lorry crash

A 29-year-old mother and three of her children died after their car collided with an oncoming lorry on the A40, Buckinghamshire Live reports[1].

Zoe Powell and children Phoebe, eight, Simeon, six, and Amelia, four, were killed in the crash on the A40 near Oxford on October 12 last year.

Husband Josh and the couple’s youngest child, 18-month-old Penny, were also passengers in the family’ Subaru and survived the crash, which took place at around 9.50pm in the evening.

An inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court, which concluded today (Thursday, June 10 2021), heard the couple had collected their four children, who had been staying with Mr Powell’s parents in Worcestershire, and were returning to their home in Chinnor, close to the Bucks border, when the crash took place.

To get the latest email updates from South YorkshireLive, click here[2].

Mrs Powell, from Sheffield, was driving the family’s people carrier, which had a specialist car seat system attached to allow the four children to sit beside each other on the back seat.

The inquest heard the crash happened when the Subaru swerved into the path of a fully-laden Renault 480 lorry on the opposite side of the road.

Darren Salter, senior coroner, said he could not rule out the possibility this was a “deliberate act” – but added that he did not consider it likely and that there was “no evidence” that Mrs Powell had thoughts of harming herself or her children.

“It’s more likely to be due to fatigue or distraction, or a combination of the two, and that the steering input was driver error,” Mr Salter said.

Zoe and three of her children died in the crash, with husband Josh and their 18-month-old baby fighting to stay alive

“The cruise control was engaged and at the last moment the accelerator was pressed instead of the brake, which is a phenomenon sometimes seen in these circumstances.”

He reached a conclusion of road traffic collision for Mrs Powell and her three children, and said their deaths occurred when their car “crashed on to the wrong side of the road and collided with an oncoming lorry”.

Mrs Powell, an artist and author, and daughter Phoebe were both pronounced dead at the scene – with the cause of their deaths given as multiple injuries.

Son Simeon and daughter Amelia were taken to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, where they later died. Simeon’s cause of death was recorded as traumatic brain injuries while Amelia suffered a severe head injury.

Mr Powell, a railway engineer, said he had no memory of the crash and his last recollection was being at his parents’ home that evening in a statement read out at the inquest.

Lorry driver Adao Patricio described seeing the Subaru approaching on the opposite side of the road before “suddenly” changing direction and swerving into the lane he was driving on.

He told the inquest: “I had nowhere to go. The car came across onto my side of the road very quickly – I don’t know how that could even happen.

“It was travelling fast but I would not say it was travelling at excess speed. I didn’t have time to brake before the car hit my lorry.”

Mr Patricio said his lorry weighed 18,000kg and had a full cargo of 18,000kg, meaning a combined weight of 36,000kg.

The Powell family

The inquest heard youngest daughter Penny was thrown out of the car by the impact of the collision and was found crying on the ground by drivers who had stopped after the crash.

In a report, investigating officer Pc Lyndsey Blackaby said Penny received first aid at the scene and was later discharged from hospital.

Mr Powell was extracted from the wreckage of the Subaru and spent several months in hospital recovering from serious injuries.

Describing Mrs Powell, Pc Blackaby said: “Zoe Powell was a much-loved, respected and active member of the community.

“She was clearly devoted to her four children, her marriage and her faith.”

The inquest heard an investigation did not find any issues with Mr Patricio’s driving before the collision and there was “no clear reason” why the Subaru swerved into the path of his lorry.

Pc Murray Maclean, a forensic collision investigator, said he could find no evidence of braking or loss of control on the road prior to the impact.

Data recovered from the Subaru showed it was steered to the right, then to the left, and the accelerator was fully pressed down in the seconds before the crash.

Pc Maclean said Mr Patricio had “no real chance” of avoiding what happened.

The coroner described the incident as “tragic” and offered his condolences to the families of Mrs Powell and her husband, who attended the hearing.

In a statement issued through Thames Valley Police following the inquest, the family thanked police and the coroner.

The statement read: ““The conclusion of the police investigation and the publication of the coroner’s inquest bring closure to what has been a very difficult part of the wider family’s lives.

“Whilst there is much that we will never fully understand about the crash, it is helpful to comprehend some of the potential explanations of what led to it.

“We thank the police, coroner and crash investigators for their hard work and thoroughness in it all.

“The possibility that such a small distraction may have caused such a horrific accident should act as a painful reminder for everyone that roads are dangerous places; the actions of a single moment have wrecked an entire family and had a lasting impact on everyone around them.

“Whilst it may be unpleasant to conceive, there is not a single driver who has not been in a similar situation but by luck alone they have avoided a serious crash.

“Driving is not as safe as we sometimes wish it was. We all have a duty to always drive to the best of our abilities and ensure that we keep the roads as safe as possible.

“As a family we encourage the wider public to learn from our heartbreak and please make sure they make the right choices when driving on the road.

“It is hard to find the words to pay tribute to the loss we have suffered. We are very grateful that Zoe, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia carried themselves excited by the joy of life.”

Paying tribute, they added: “In doing so they have left us with an abundance of happy memories that we can reflect back on fondly. The memories of past joy balance the reality that we will make no more memories together and it is hard to escape the wondering of what life would be like if they were still here.

“We miss them all greatly but are very glad of the times we had together, and as Christians we find rest knowing that their experience in heaven with Christ surpass anything they knew on earth.

“We have been touched by the depth of support and generosity that has been provided by friends, family, the church and wider community. This has carried us through some very difficult times.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has wrapped their arms around us and supported us physically, financially and emotionally.

“Our thoughts go to those who were at the crash scene that bore witness to this horrific accident, especially the lorry driver.

“As a family we hold no ill feelings and hold no responsibility towards him, we recognise that none of his actions led to the accident.

“Our hope is for peace for all who have been troubled by the collision and its aftermath. By the grace of God, Josh and Penny have survived this horrific crash with amazingly minimal long term physical impairment.

“This is in no small part thanks to the public at the crash itself, the hard work of the emergency services and those within the NHS who provided treatments.

“As we have learnt more of the events before and after the accident, we are blown away by the depth of humanity shown by the emergency services and the huge effort they made to try to save everyone, especially Simeon and Amelia.

“We have witnessed first-hand the hard work that has gone into Josh and Penny’s treatment, and seen the amazing transformation in restoring their ability to live life.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved who has worked to not only help Josh & Penny survive but give them their lives back.

“The family wish to thank the press for respecting our privacy up to this point, this space has helped us grieve and process the horrific events.

“We hope that this respect continues as everyone involved tries to rebuild.”

References

  1. ^ Buckinghamshire Live reports (www.buckinghamshirelive.com)
  2. ^ click here (www.leeds-live.co.uk)

Tragic crash families hope motorists ‘can learn from our heartbreak’

T

he families of a mother and three of her children who died when their family car collided with an oncoming lorry have urged people to “learn from our heartbreak” and make the right choices when driving.

Zoe Powell, 29, and children Phoebe, eight; Simeon, six; and Amelia, four, were killed in the crash on the A40[1] near Oxford[2] at about 9.50pm on October 12 last year.

Her husband, Josh Powell, and their youngest child, Penny, aged 18 months, were also passengers in the family’s Subaru[3] people carrier but survived the collision.

An inquest into their deaths took place at Oxford Coroner’s Court on Thursday, with senior coroner Darren Salter[4] recording that Mrs Powell and her three children died as a result of a road traffic collision.

In a statement issued through Thames Valley Police following the hearing, the families said the inquest had brought closure to a “very difficult part” of their lives.

“Whilst there is much that we will never fully understand about the crash, it is helpful to comprehend some of the potential explanations of what led to it,” they said.

Driving is not as safe as we sometimes wish it was. We all have a duty to always drive to the best of our abilities and ensure that we keep the roads as safe as possible.

“We thank the police, coroner and crash investigators for their hard work and thoroughness in it all.

“The possibility that such a small distraction may have caused such a horrific accident should act as a painful reminder for everyone that roads are dangerous places; the actions of a single moment have wrecked an entire family and had a lasting impact on everyone around them.

“Whilst it may be unpleasant to conceive, there is not a single driver who has not been in a similar situation but by luck alone they have avoided a serious crash.

Driving[5] is not as safe as we sometimes wish it was. We all have a duty to always drive to the best of our abilities and ensure that we keep the roads as safe as possible.

“As a family we encourage the wider public to learn from our heartbreak and please make sure they make the right choices when driving on the road.”

The families said it was hard to find the words to pay tribute to their loss and described how Mrs Powell, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia “carried themselves excited by the joy of life”.

“In doing so they have left us with an abundance of happy memories that we can reflect back on fondly,” they said.

“The memories of past joy balance the reality that we will make no more memories together and it is hard to escape the wondering of what life would be like if they were still here.

“We miss them all greatly but are very glad of the times we had together, and as Christians we find rest knowing that their experience in heaven with Christ surpass anything they knew on earth.”

The families thanked support and generosity provided by friends, family, the church and wider community following the deaths.

They said: “Our thoughts go to those who were at the crash scene that bore witness to this horrific accident, especially the lorry driver.

“As a family we hold no ill feelings and hold no responsibility towards him, we recognise that none of his actions led to the accident.

“Our hope is for peace for all who have been troubled by the collision and its aftermath. By the grace of God, Josh and Penny have survived this horrific crash with amazingly minimal long-term physical impairment.

“This is in no small part thanks to the public at the crash itself, the hard work of the emergency services and those within the NHS who provided treatments.

“As we have learnt more of the events before and after the accident, we are blown away by the depth of humanity shown by the emergency services and the huge effort they made to try to save everyone, especially Simeon and Amelia.

“We have witnessed first-hand the hard work that has gone into Josh and Penny’s treatment, and seen the amazing transformation in restoring their ability to live life.”

The families thanked those involved with helping Mr Powell and Penny survive, as well as giving them “their lives back”.

References

  1. ^ A40 (www.standard.co.uk)
  2. ^ Oxford (www.standard.co.uk)
  3. ^ Subaru (www.standard.co.uk)
  4. ^ Darren Salter (www.standard.co.uk)
  5. ^ Driving (www.standard.co.uk)

‘We’ll make no more memories together’: Family’s heartbreaking tribute as mum and three children found to have died after car struck lorry

The family of a woman and her three children who were killed in a fatal crash on the A40 near Oxford have paid them a heartbreaking tribute after investigations into their deaths concluded today.

Mum blogger Zoe Powell, 29, from Chinnor, died at the scene along with her three children – Phoebe, aged eight, Simeon, aged six and four-year-old Amelia – when their silver Subaru people carrier was involved in a crash with a HGV on the A40, just west of Oxford in October last year.

Her husband Josh Powell, 30, survived the crash along with their then-18-month-old daughter Penny.

An inquest into their deaths found Mrs Powell and her three children died after she steered the family car into the path of a fully-laden lorry.

Recording a conclusion of death following a road traffic collision, senior coroner Darren Salter said there was no evidence to suggest that Mrs Powell had deliberately swerved the Subaru into the lorry. He could not rule out fatigue or distraction as factors that contributed to the crash.

The inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court this morning heard that the Powell family were on their way home from Mr Powell’s parents’ home in Worcestershire when the crash happened.

Portuguese lorry driver Adao Patricio was driving towards Witney on the A40 at around 9.50pm when the Subaru swerved into his lane on the bridge over the railway and canal.

He said: “I had nowhere to go. The car came across into my side of the road very quickly.”

The lorry, which weighed 36 tonnes, was driving at around 42mph.

Following the inquest’s conclusion, the Powell family said: “The conclusion of the police investigation and the publication of the coroner’s inquest bring closure to what has been a very difficult part of the wider family’s lives.

“Whilst there is much that we will never fully understand about the crash, it is helpful to comprehend some of the potential explanations of what led to it.

“We thank the police, coroner and crash investigators for their hard work and thoroughness in it all.

“The possibility that such a small distraction may have caused such a horrific accident should act as a painful reminder for everyone that roads are dangerous places; the actions of a single moment have wrecked an entire family and had a lasting impact on everyone around them.”

They added: “Driving is not as safe as we sometimes wish it was. We all have a duty to always drive to the best of our abilities and ensure that we keep the roads as safe as possible.”

The devastated family also paid tribute to Mrs Powell and her three children, saying: “It is hard to find the words to pay tribute to the loss we have suffered. We are very grateful that Zoe, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia carried themselves excited by the joy of life.

“In doing so they have left us with an abundance of happy memories that we can reflect back on fondly. The memories of past joy balance the reality that we will make no more memories together and it is hard to escape the wondering of what life would be like if they were still here.

“We miss them all greatly but are very glad of the times we had together, and as Christians we find rest knowing that their experience in heaven with Christ surpass anything they knew on earth.

“We have been touched by the depth of support and generosity that has been provided by friends, family, the church and wider community. This has carried us through some very difficult times.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has wrapped their arms around us and supported us physically, financially and emotionally.

“Our thoughts go to those who were at the crash scene that bore witness to this horrific accident, especially the lorry driver.

“As a family we hold no ill feelings and hold no responsibility towards him, we recognise that none of his actions led to the accident.

“Our hope is for peace for all who have been troubled by the collision and its aftermath. By the grace of God, Josh and Penny have survived this horrific crash with amazingly minimal long term physical impairment.

“This is in no small part thanks to the public at the crash itself, the hard work of the emergency services and those within the NHS who provided treatments.”

An online fundraiser for Mr Powell and Penny raised more than £162,000. The JustGiving page was set up just hours after Mr Powell and his daughter were taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital following the crash.

The family added: “As we have learnt more of the events before and after the accident, we are blown away by the depth of humanity shown by the emergency services and the huge effort they made to try to save everyone, especially Simeon and Amelia.

“We have witnessed first-hand the hard work that has gone into Josh and Penny’s treatment, and seen the amazing transformation in restoring their ability to live life.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved who has worked to not only help Josh & Penny survive but give them their lives back.

“The family wish to thank the press for respecting our privacy up to this point, this space has helped us grieve and process the horrific events.

“We hope that this respect continues as everyone involved tries to rebuild.”