Four members of one family die in A40 collision near Oxford

A mother and her three young children were killed in a collision between a people carrier and a lorry near Oxford.

Zoe Powell, 29, who ran two companies and blogged about the joys of motherhood, her daughters Phoebe, eight, and Amelia, four, and her six-year-old son Simeon died in the crash on the A40 on Monday night.

Two other passengers in the silver Subaru people carrier, a 30-year-old man believed to be Powell’s husband and their 18-month-old daughter, are in a critical condition at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Police have not named the family but said they were from the village of Chinnor, around 20 miles from the scene.

A cross was erected outside Chinnor community church in memory of the four, who were regular worshippers.

It said: “The cross has been put up in our garden as a focal point for anyone who would like to remember Zoe, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia Powell, who lost their lives in a road traffic accident on Monday night.

“As Christians we believe that death is not the end of the road, but just a bend in the road.” Bouquets were scattered under the cross for the Powell family.

The first person to arrive at the scene was David Patchett, 36, who lives on a narrowboat nearby. He said: “There was a loud explosion, a horrendous noise which shook through the boat. Other boaters in the area thought it was a sonic boom; it was an epic sound, enough to make your heart jump.

“I grabbed my phone and shoes and ran out at full pelt down the road while trying to dial 999.

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.”

The Powell family had recently been forced to move from their home following a fire. A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “They were renting somewhere else in Chinnor in the meantime.

It is a devastating shame, they are a lovely family.”

Zoe Powell ran two companies, selling handcrafted stationery and journals for new mothers.

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

No arrests have been made.

Thames Valley police said they received “multiple” calls from members of the public at 9.50pm reporting the accident.

Senior investigating officer Sgt Dominic Mahon, of the serious collision investigation unit, said officers were in the very early stages of the investigation.

He warned against speculating about the cause of the collision, adding: “We will leave no stone unturned to ascertain what has caused this tragedy.

I would like to also pay tribute to our officers, first responders and medical professionals, who dealt with this collision.

“Our officers and colleagues from the other emergency services were dealing with an extremely upsetting scene.”

Asking for help from the public, he said: “I would appeal to anybody who was driving in the area at the time of the collision and witnessed what happened to please contact 101, or make a report online, quoting reference number 43200321914.

“I would also urge anybody who has dashcam footage of the incident or either of the vehicles just prior to the incident to please not share this publicly, but contact police.”

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