A40 Oxford crash: Mummy blogger, 29, and three young kids killed just months after house burned down

A40 Oxford crash: Mummy blogger, 29, and three young kids killed just months after house burned down

October 14, 2020

A MUMMY blogger and her three young children were killed in a horror crash just months after their house burned down.

Zoe Powell, 29, died on the A40 near Oxford with her two daughters, Phoebe, eight, Amelia, four, and their six-year-old brother Simeon.


Her husband Josh, 30, and their 18-month-old baby girl are fighting for their lives in hospital, where they are said to be in a "stable but critical condition".

The family had been forced to leave their home in Chinnor, Oxfordshire, after flames ripped through the property in an electrical fire a few months ago.

Neighbours said they were living in emergency accommodation and had suffered “tragedy after tragedy”.

'TRAGEDY AFTER TRAGEDY'

Zoe's dad, William Milroy said the family were travelling to their temporary home when tragedy struck.

He told The Sun Online: "They were going home.

"I don’t know where they had been but they had recently moved into a new rented house after theirs had burned down."

Mr Milroy added: "They had moved from place to place but had rented a house long term and were just getting settled.

Holding back tears, Mr Milroy added: "Police told us at 5am what had happened. They’ve gone."

It’s dreadful news. That poor family have had nothing but bad luck.

He spoke after returning from the hospital with his wife to visit their son-in-law and baby granddaughter.

He said they had "no idea" how the horror crash had happened, saying: "Police will not even tell us exactly where it happened. They are still investigating."

Friends have described the accident as a "devastating shame".

One said: “They were a lovely family. They were renting somewhere else in Chinnor in the meantime because there was a house fire, as you can see the whole house is boarded up. It is a devastating shame."

Another friend added: “It’s dreadful news. That poor family have had nothing but bad luck.

“Their home burnt down three or four months ago. There was a huge fire which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

“They had to move out and were staying elsewhere.”



'WE ARE REELING'

Heartbroken villagers have left flowers and lit candles at two local churches in Chinnor – Chinnor Community Church where the family were regular worshippers and nearby St Andrew’s Church.

Vicar Rev. Jacky Barr told The Sun Online:  "The whole village is reeling. It is so horrific and there is a great sense of loss and sadness here.

"The three children went to the same local school so they have lost three pupils.

"We have opened our church which would normally be closed so people can pay their respects. Many are coming in in tears and are just so lost."

One tribute left at the community church reads: "The village is mourning for the loss of so many of such a beautiful family. Forever in our hearts."

Another person wrote: "Dear Zoe, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia you have been taken so tragically. We are devastated as a family, honoured to of known you all. We pray for Josh and your little one. Sleep tight."

HORROR CRASH

A witness to the carnage on Monday night said the family’s people carrier was left “crumpled like a can” from the smash.

David Patchett, 36, was the first person to arrive on the scene after hearing the crash from his house-boat moored nearby.

He said:  “I was sat in my boat at the time when there was a loud explosion, a horrendous noise which shook through the boat.

“The first thing I saw was the lorry on the wrong side of the road and saw the driver was sat there okay.

“The car was in the middle of the road, it wasn’t just front-end damage it looked like it had been crumpled like a can.

It was a horrifying thing to see and my first thoughts were nobody had survived, that’s how bad it was.

“It was a horrifying thing to see and my first thoughts were nobody had survived, that’s how bad it was.

“While I was on the phone to police, the man regained consciousness and that’s when I started screaming down the phone ‘get someone here now.’"

Thames Valley Police said tragedy struck when the family's silver Subaru people carrier and a lorry collided near a railway overbridge.

Paramedics rushed to the scene on the A40 and were horrified by the wreckage, cops said.

Mrs Powell and her three children were all pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the HGV, a 56-year-old man, suffered minor injuries.

DEDICATED MUM

Blogger Zoe, from Chinnor in Oxfordshire, often wrote about who much she loved being a mum and the "simple joys" of raising a family.

She posted: "There are crazy, messy, stressful moments, but they are also scattered through with many beautiful, every day, wonderful moments.

There are crazy, messy, stressful moments, but they are also scattered through with many beautiful, every day, wonderful moments.

"Things that we take for granted, which just are the way they are – like the cot they are lowered into, the pram we push, the car seat we buckle or the shoes we tie – they move on and change and we look back and realise that those everyday things were beautiful."

She also wrote about her "deep love" for painting with her young kids.

The mum also published her ‘Mama book’ – a yearly motherhood journal to support other parents to "count the joys" of raising a family.




'BEAUTIFUL FAMILY'

The couple were married when they were 18 and 19 and in an anniversary photo Zoe described her husband as her “best friend”.

She wrote in the touching Facebook post: "I am thankful for nine years of marriage to my best friend today.

"These years have been so full of so many things and I love getting to share it together.

“Who knew what these years would hold when we got married at 18 and 19!"

Anybody who was driving in the area at the time of the collision and witnessed what happened should contact 101, or make a report online, quoting reference number 43200321914.

Thames Valley also want any dash-cam footage of the incident or either of the vehicles just prior to the incident.



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