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  1. Updates for Friday, 30 December 2016
  2. About 300 people attend a beach vigil for two teenagers killed in car crash
  3. 'I can't sleep or eat - I can't focus straight', says dead youth's friend
  4. Call for a minute's applause in tribute to dead youths
  5. Firms fined thousand over Benfleet asbestos
  6. Artist auctions portrait of late Star Wars star
  7. Man arrested after police threatened with 'firearm' in village
  8. Ambulance service provides a 'Twitterthon' today

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Severe disruption: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J1A for A206 and J31 for A1306.

M25 Kent - Two lanes closed on M25 Dartford Tunnel anticlockwise between J1a, A206 (Erith) and J31, A1306 (West Thurrock), because of a broken down vehicle.

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Severe accident: M11 Essex northbound

BBC Travel

M11 Essex northbound severe accident, at J8 for A120.

M11 Essex - Queuing traffic on M11 northbound at J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

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Severe accident: M11 Essex southbound

BBC Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe accident, between J7 for A414 and J6 for M25.

M11 Essex - One lane closed on M11 southbound between J7, A414 (Harlow) and J6 M25, because of an accident involving a vehicle that has left the road.

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Colchester: Oldest recorded town photographed then and now
A photographer has merged photographs taken from the exact spot from Britain's oldest town, decades apart.

Severe accident: M11 Essex northbound

BBC Travel

M11 Essex northbound severe accident, between J8 for A120 and J9 for A11 Saffron Walden.

M11 Essex - One lane closed on M11 northbound between J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford) and J9 A11 Saffron Walden, because of an accident.

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Ricardo Almeida Santos

Barnet sign Peterborough's Ricardo Almeida Santos, Simeon Akinola from Braintree and Cardiff's David Tutonda.

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Severe accident: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Greater London clockwise severe accident, between J25 for A10 and J26 for A121.

M25 Greater London - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of an accident.

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Chris Porter scores one late goal before creating another to help Colchester United to victory over Stevenage.

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Andrew Crofts scores a last-minute equaliser as Charlton earn a point against Southend in League One.

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Severe accident: M11 Essex southbound

BBC Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe accident, at J8 for A120.

M11 Essex - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M11 southbound at J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford), because of a multi-vehicle accident and recovery work.

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Severe disruption: M11 Essex northbound

BBC Travel

M11 Essex northbound severe disruption, at J8 for A120.

M11 Essex - M11 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford).

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Our live coverage closes until 2017

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

BBC Essex Live is closing down until 08:00 on Tuesday, 3 January so we'll wish you a happy New Year here and now...

A reminder of the top stories we've covered today:

It looks like it's going to be another foggy one as we head into 2017.


Have a great weekend.

Car chase danger levels 'controlled' by driver being pursued

BBC Essex has been talking about car chases involving the police, following the deaths of two teenagers who were passengers in a Ford Escort which crashed while being followed in Leigh-on-Sea on Tuesday.

A 16-year-old from Great Wakering is facing charges of causing death by dangerous driving.

Kevin Delaney, a former policeman who is now the head of road safety at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "The rules and guidance [for the police] are all devised to minimise the level of danger that might arise from a pursuit; not simply the danger to the police and those being pursued, but to other road-users. 

"The level of danger is effectively controlled by the person driving the car that is being followed.

"The police protocols and training are geared to putting as little pressure as possible on the person being followed, but the one thing that nobody knows is what is going through the mind of that particular individual."

Firms fined after workers 'exposed to asbestos'

Two firms have been fined after asbestos was not properly contained at an industrial unit in Benfleet.

Basildon Crown Court heard that Connect Packaging moved into the building on the Manor Road Trading Estate and failed to act to control the risk of airborne asbestos fibres, which can cause lung disease when breathed in, as outlined on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Creo Retail Marketing sub-let the unit in 2009, but both firms continued to fail to deal with the problem.

Both admitted offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Connect has been fined £65,000 with £8,150 costs to pay.

Creo was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £8,149 costs.

HSE inspector Nikki Hughes said: “After this asbestos was identified, both companies should have acted promptly and effectively to control the potentially lethal risk to which their workers were exposed.

"Asbestos-related disease has a long latency period, so we cannot predict the consequences this failure to manage asbestos may have on their workers’ health."

Overnight weather: Extensive low cloud, mist and fog

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Mostly dry tonight but with extensive low cloud, mist and fog giving poor visibility and tricky driving conditions in places. 

Chance of a patchy frost where any clear skies develop. 

Light southwesterly winds with temperatures locally down to -2C (28F). 

Fog warning

Rather grey for New Year’s Eve with mist and fog slowly lifting into low cloud, perhaps a few bright spells developing into the afternoon. 

A freshening southwesterly breeze should allow temperatures to reach highs of 8C (46F).

Get the full forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

Colchester 'click' for promotion challenge

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

Colchester United boss John McGreal is in positive mood as his team lies four points off the play-off places as the year comes to an end at Stevenage on Saturday.

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Porter ready for trip to Stevenage

Some good news for Colchester United ahead of their League Two match at Stevenage on New Year's Eve:

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Another foggy night and morning in store

Look East weather forecaster Dan Holley has tweeted:

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Southend boss enjoying 'rare occasion' of a good run in league

Southend United are at home to Charlton tomorrow as they aim to extend their 15-game unbeaten run in League One.

Manager Phil Brown has been speaking to the BBC Essex sport team:

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Vigil head for teenagers Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips
Hundreds of people attended a candlelit beach vigil for teenagers Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips, who died following a police pursuit crash.
Air ambulance blood trial takes off in Birmingham
A new study has been launched to see whether giving blood rather than clear fluid to air ambulance patients saves more lives.

Man disappeared while being treated by paramedics

Police have issued an appeal for help to trace a homeless man who disappeared while he was being treated for a head injury in Colchester town centre.

Paramedics said John Coupland, 32, was found on the corner of Crouch Street and Head Street at about 01:00, but he left them before his treatment had been completed.

Police said they were concerned for his welfare, although they did not believe he had been assaulted.

John Coupland
Essex Police

He has shoulder-length black hair, a moustache and was wearing a black puffed jacket, blue sweater and ripped jeans when he was last seen.

Watch: Tributes to teenagers killed in Leigh-on-Sea

Friends of Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips have been remembering the 17-year-olds after they died when the car they were passengers in crashed while being pursued by police.

Vigil head for teenagers Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips

Art student paints portrait of Star Wars actor for charity

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

A 19-year-old artist has painted a portrait of the Star Wars actor Carrie Fisher, who died earlier this week.

Jack Browning, from Mayland near Burnham-on-Crouch, has put the picture on display at Allegro Music in Chelmsford, where he is working during a gap year while he waits to find out if he's got on an art foundation course.

Carrie Fisher portrait by Jack Browning
Jack Browning

He is welcoming bids for the painting via the shop or his Facebook page and the bidding currently stands at £100.

His mum Karen, 52, has life-limiting health conditions and money raised will go to the Make-A-Wish charity, which his family has used themselves.

Jack said: "Star Wars is my favourite film series of all time, so the death of Carrie Fisher [who played Princess Leia] was a horrible way to end 2016, so I thought a painting could turn a negative into a positive for charity."

The auction closes on Sunday.

Basildon in top five for house price rises

A survey by the Halifax puts Basildon at number four in the charts for house price rises over the past year. Here's the mortgage-lender's top 10:

  1. Luton, Beds: £256,636 average house price - 19.4% rise
  2. Barking and Dagenham, Greater London: £296,946 - 18.6% rise
  3. Dunstable, Beds: £253,799 - 17.9% rise
  4. Basildon, Essex: £258,068 - 17.2% rise
  5. Chatham, Kent: £237,545 - 17.1% rise
  6. Tower Hamlets, Greater London: £411,495 - 15.8%
  7. Watford, Herts: £418,080 - 15.3% rise
  8. Basingstoke, Hants: £303,541 - 15.1% rise
  9. Slough, Berks: £390,560 - 14.7% rise
  10. Redbridge, Greater London: £365,438 - 14.4% rise
Basildon, Google Earth map

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: "Most of the areas that have seen the biggest house price rises during 2016 are either within close commuting distance of the capital or in outer London. 

"Demand in these areas has risen as substantial property price rises in central London over the last few years have caused increasing numbers of people to seek property in more affordable areas."

Severe disruption: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe disruption, between J26 for A121 and J27 for M11.

M25 Essex - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J27 M11, because of a broken down vehicle.

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Dead teenager 'would have gone a long way'

Reigan Knight was an apprentice at Monarch Communications, which installs fibre optic cables across Kent, Essex and London.

Wayne Morley, managing director, said: "I was trying to nurture him and it's just sad that he will never fulfill what we were hoping for him. 

 "I think he would have gone a long way. He had the right attitude, was funny and charming."

Dead teenager's boss remembers 'bubbly little character'

One of the two teenagers killed in the crash in Leigh-on-Sea, Reigan Knight, had been an apprentice with Kent-based cabling firm Monarch Communications for a year and a half.

Its managing director Wayne Morley said: "He was a bubbly little character. I absolutely loved him to bits and every time he came into the office he brought a bit of sunshine with him.

Tribute to Reigan Knight
Getty Images

"He was very polite, mature for his age and always wanting to learn. I took him on as an apprentice and I took one of his friends on after he turned out to be so good. 

"We're absolutely devastated. It's such a waste of life - he's barely even lived and few of the lads have had to have time off work as they can't handle coming in.

"It's going to take a bit of time for everyone to get back to normal."

Lines now open but rail passengers warned of residual delays

Trespass incident update

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

I've just telephoned British Transport Police to find out more about the trespass incident on the line between Ipswich and Manningtree which has been affecting rail services in the area.

They told me they were called at 12:59 with reports that a man was on the railway line.

Rail services were suspended while they searched the area, but no-one was found.

It's thought a normal service should resume soon.

Greater Anglia warns of delays around Ipswich

Southend United not 'officially' marking deaths of teenagers

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Southend United will not be "officially" marking the deaths of teenagers Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips at tomorrow's home game against Charlton.

Some fans are expected to begin a minute's applause in the 17th minute of the match - to reflect the ages of the two 17-year-olds.

A spokesman for the football club said it would be a fan-led act which supporters were free to take part in.

The club said it would be marking the teenagers' deaths, along with the deaths of other supporters, at its regular end-of-season remembrance event.

Tribute to Reigan Knight at crash site in Leigh-on-Sea
Getty Images

Arrest after police threatened with 'firearm' in village

A man has been arrested in connection with a burglary in which police were threatened with what they believe was a firearm.

Officers went to Stanley Road, Wivenhoe, on the evening of Tuesday, 13 December.

The suspect threatened them and ran off.

Stanley Road, Wivenhoe

A 24-year-old from Colchester attended Chelmsford police station and he has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and possession of firearms offences. 

He has been released on police bail until 18 January, pending further inquiries.

Mist and fog hanging around...

Staying foggy across Essex, although some places may see bright spells develop as the temperature peaks at 5C (41F).

There will be a mixture of cloud and mist overnight as it dips to 2C (36F).

Children's playground, Rayleigh

For a more detailed forecast for where you are, visit BBC Weather.

Football fans invited to give minute's applause for dead teenagers

Some Southend United fans are asking their fellow supporters to give a minute's applause to the two 17-year-olds killed in a car crash in Leigh-on-Sea on Tuesday.

The applause would take place in the 17th minute during Saturday's match at home to Charlton - reflecting the ages of Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips.

Dominika Siemienczuk was one of the organisers of last night's vigil for the dead youths at Leigh-on-Sea's waterfront.

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Minute's applause request for two teenagers killed in Leigh-on-Sea

In pictures: Tributes at crash site

Floral tributes and written messages have been left at the scene of the crash in Southsea Avenue, Leigh-on-Sea.

Crash scene tributes at Southsea Avenue, Leigh-on-Sea

Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips, both 17, died after the Ford Escort they were passengers in crashed while being followed by a police car.

Tributes at crash site on Southsea Avenue, Leigh-on-Sea
Getty Images

Friend remembers 'blood brother' at vigil for dead teenagers

One of Reigan Knight's school friends spoke to BBC Essex at the vigil.

Natty Dodds said: "He didn't know anyone when he came to my school. We used to write music together - some bars to spit to each other.

"He was always happy, but when he wasn't he wasn't scared of telling you how he felt.

"Even if you didn't give the best advice, he'd still listen to you.

"It makes you blood brothers, pretty much."

Go Fund Me page for Reigan Knight and Liam Phillips

"He left school and got a job installing Virgin Media into people's TVs. After school we went our separate ways, but whenever we'd meet up it would be like the old times. There'd be 100% love.

"I can't sleep or eat. Working's been dreadful. I can't focus straight.

"There's not a minute or second I don't think of him.

"The times I met him, or should have met him, are playing around in my head."

No end-of-year let-up for region's paramedics

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Paramedics with the East of England Ambulance Service are continuing their "Twitterthon" as they respond to emergency calls across the region.

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Sandy Brown, director of nursing and clinical quality, said: "I'm very thankful to our teams for the hard work they are putting into responses to patients, and with call demand up so much higher than last year, their commitment really does shine through."