Community tribute to 'delightful family' involved in fatal road crash

Zoe Powell

A church-going mother and three of her children killed in a car crash have been described as “a delightful family”.

Zoe Powell, 29, died alongside her daughters Phoebe, eight, Amelia, four, and six-year-old son Simeon when the family’s Subaru people carrier collided with a heavy goods vehicle on the A40 to the west of Oxford shortly before 10pm on Monday.

Mrs Powell’s 30-year-old husband, Josh, and their infant daughter survived but remain in the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Community tribute to 'delightful family' involved in fatal road crashZoe Powell from Chinnor, Oxfordshire, with her husband Josh and their three children Phoebe, eight, Simeon, six, Amelia, four (Sarah Mak Photography)

The Rev Dr Jacky Barr, from St Andrew’s Church in Chinnor, where Mrs Powell and her family were regular visitors, said the tragedy was a “loss to us all in the area”.

She told the PA news agency: “They used to come to our church. Zoe and her children would come along to one of our after-school sessions.

“They were just a delightful family.

The children were always very engaging.

“They were just a lovely family, they really were.

“This has come as such a shock and loss to us all in the area.”

A friend and neighbour of the Powells said the “whole family would do anything for anybody”.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “She (Mrs Powell) was amazing, a great neighbour and a lovely person.

“She did a lot for the community, not just through the church.

“The whole family would do anything for anybody.

“I just can’t believe what’s happened, I’m too upset to talk any more about it really.”

Mrs Powell, who lived in Chinnor since the mid-2010s but was previously from Sheffield, described herself online as a “wife, mama, maker”.

She regularly updated a parenting blog until May 2019 ahead of the arrival of their fourth child.

Outlining the reasons behind her blog, Mrs Powell wrote: “I’m Zoe, and I’m a wife and mama of three little ones.

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.

Community tribute to 'delightful family' involved in fatal road crashThe A40 near Oxford where the crash happened on Monday evening (Steve Parsons/PA)

“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.”

Thames Valley Police said they received multiple calls from members of the public at 9.50pm on Monday following the crash.

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

Senior Investigating Officer Sergeant Dominic Mahon, of the serious collision investigation unit, said officers were in the very early stages of the investigation into what he described as an “incredibly tragic” and “horrendous” incident.

Anyone with information or dashcam footage has been asked to contact police.

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