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  1. Headlines from across Dorset, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire
  2. Woman killed and several more injured in A40 pile-ups
  3. Human hand found on Isle of Wight beach
  4. Southampton's West Quay shopping centre evacuated
  5. Man killed on Christmas Day named
  6. Updates from Wednesday 28 December

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

A40 crash scene

A woman dies and several other people are injured in four separate crashes involving more than 20 cars in Oxfordshire.

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Thanks and see you tomorrow

That's all for us today's live page, covering Dorset, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

We'll be back tomorrow from 09:00 with all the news and sport, including the latest on the A40 crashes. 

See you then.

A40 pile-ups: Road 'was gritted overnight'

The site of four pile-ups on the A40 in Oxfordshire, in which one woman died, was gritted overnight, the county council has confirmed.

A40 crash scene
Ben Starkey

The crashes happened within a mile-and-a-half-stretch between the B4047 and the A415 at Witney, according to South Central Ambulance Service. 

Four other people were taken to hospital - one with life-threatening injuries. 

About 15 people were treated at the scene, said the ambulance service.

Some witnesses had said the road was icy and it was foggy.

People put on 'brave face' during Christmas

The Samaritans is urging anybody feeling depressed this Christmas to get in touch.

Matt Williams, the charity's Director of Outreach, told BBC Radio Oxford people often feel the need to put on a "brave face" during the festive period. 

He said: "There is an expectation of happiness, of jolliness, of togetherness - and for some people that is just not the reality."

View more on twitter

Southampton v Tottenham: Vital statistics

Here are some key match stats ahead of tonight's encounter between Saints and Spurs:

  • Southampton have lost once in the last six games, winning three and drawing two.
  • They have just one home defeat this league campaign, losing 2-0 to Chelsea on 30 October.
  • Saints have not conceded in four of the last six league fixtures, including three successive clean sheets at home.
  • Claude Puel's side have only scored eight goals at home in the league this season - the lowest tally of any team.

Read more here

A40 crash: Woman in 50s killed; two in hospital

Thames Valley Police have released an update on the A40 crashes earlier.

They say the woman who died was in her 50s and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In addition, a man and a woman sustained serious injuries during the collision and are currently being treated in hospital.

A40 crash: Lane reopened

One lane of the A40 westbound has reopened after a woman was killed in a pile-up earlier.

Thames Valley Police said the second lane will reopen once repairs have been completed to the central reservation. 

The force said the eastbound carriageway would remain closed for a further three hours to allow the last vehicles to be recovered and the road surface to be cleared of debris.

Poole council 'faces court challenge over planned beach parking charges'

Freshwater Bay

A human hand is found by a dog after washing up on a beach on the Isle of Wight.

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'Human hand' found on beach by dog

A human hand has been found by a dog after washing up on a beach.

Freshwater Bay
David Dixon

The remains were discovered at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight before being given in by a member of the public at the Boat House at about 11:00 GMT, Hampshire Constabulary said. 

Initial analysis has confirmed it is a human hand and has been in the water for a significant amount of time, the force added. 

It has been sent away for further analysis.

Police confirm human remains found at Freshwater

Human remains were found at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight this morning.

Hampshire Police said a member of the public alerted it to the find shortly after 11:00. 

A force spokesperson said: "Initial analysis confirms that this is a human hand and has been in the water for a significant amount of time.

"It has been sent away for further analysis."

Severe accident: A34 Oxfordshire southbound

BBC Travel

A34 Oxfordshire southbound severe accident, near B430 affecting B4030 Oxford Road.

A34 Oxfordshire - A34 partially blocked and queuing traffic southbound near Weston-On-The-Green, because of an accident involving two vehicles. Congestion to Bicester.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Human arm washes up at Freshwater

Man dies after van hits tree

A 60-year-old man has died after the van he was driving left the road and hit a tree. 

The crash involving a Mercedes Sprinter happened at about 04:30 on the A343 northbound in Highclere, Hampshire, between Three Legged Cross and the Yew Tree pub.

The A343

Hampshire Police said it wanted to speak to the driver of a Luton-type vehicle travelling southbound just prior to the collision. 

The force reopened the road at about 12:00. 

A40 crash: 'I just didn't stop'

A woman involved in this morning's A40 crash, but who was not injured, has been telling how she had tried to stop after seeing there had been an accident through the fog.

"As much as I tried to either steer or brake, I just didn't stop," she told us.

"It was very icy and foggy. I was in the outside lane, but there was nothing in front of me for a good 800 metres or so. As I tried to apply my brakes, I could feel that the car was just gliding across and realised that there must have been black ice. 

"As much as I tried to either steer or brake, I just didn't stop. It felt like driving in slow motion. I tried to avoid the line of cars and aim for the central reservation, but it was very icy, I just careered into a green VW that had a child and two adults in it.

"I remember seeking the shock on the driver's face, and then more cars hitting each other behind me."

Major boost for revamp of Oxford Station - report

The gritters are out!

Online crime reporting facility unavailable

Thames Valley Police is warning that its online crime reporting facility is not working. 

People are being advised to call the non-emergency number 101 instead. 

For emergencies - 999 should always be used.

View more on twitter

Counselling service preparing for rise in demand

The counselling service Relate Berkshire is preparing for a sharp rise in demand . 

It helps hundreds of couples every year, carrying out around 3,500 counselling sessions.

Allan James, spokesman for Relate Berkshire, told the BBC that the financial pressure from Christmas can make things more difficult for families.

Weather outlook: Turning chilly

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Watch: Police investigations continue after A40 20-car pile-ups

Rahil Sheikh

BBC News Oxford

Hampshire travel latest: Southampton's Harbour Parade reopens following West Quay evacuation

Southampton's West Quay evacuated 'as precaution'

Pizza restaurant smoke prompts shopping centre evacuation

Smoke at a pizza restaurant in Southampton has prompted the evacuation of a shopping centre.

Evacuation at West Quay

West Quay was evacuated after the fire service was called to Pizza Express at about 12:50 GMT.

It is not believed there has been a fire, only smoke.  

Four fire engines are at the scene and police officers are assisting with the evacuation.

'Utter chaos' as Southampton's West Quay evacuated

Hampshire travel latest: Southampton road closure due to West Quay shopping centre evacuation

Fire crews and police at West Quay

This is the latest scene outside West Quay in Southampton where hundreds of shoppers have been evacuated. 

People outside West Quay
Police have confirmed they are assisting fire crews with the operation

Police have confirmed they are assisting fire crews at the shopping centre. 

However, the nature of the incident is not yet known. 

Eyewitnesses have described seeing multiple fire crews and police officers. 

Co-op plans to open 100 new shops

The Co-operative Group is planning to create 1,500 jobs in the new year by opening 100 stores. 

It said it would focus on opening branches in the South East and London. 

Co-op bag
Co-op Group
The group said it would focus on opening branches in the South East and London

The company is entering the final stretch of a three-year turnaround programme following a period of turmoil mainly involving its banking group.  

West Quay shopping centre evacuated

Late winner denies Eastleigh in 2-2 draw

Danny Woodards scored late in injury time to rescue a point for Boreham Wood against an Eastleigh side who are without a win in four league matches.

The hosts took an early lead through James Constable before Morgan Ferrier levelled from close range.

Martin Allen
Rex Features
The result leaves Martin Allen still searching for a first win as Eastleigh boss.

Eastleigh regained the lead when Mikael Mandron scored from the penalty spot, but Woodards found the net following a goalmouth scramble to earn a late draw.

It leaves Martin Allen still searching for a first win as Eastleigh boss.

House fire caused by wood burner

A house fire in Oxford is believed to have been caused by a wood burner. 

Crews were called to a property in Wolvercote at 16:00 yesterday after a resident spotted smoke coming from its roof. 

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said the building was unoccupied, and that crews wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the flames using high pressure hose reels.

A fire service spokesperson said: "The fire is believed to have been started by a wood burner transferring heat to wood that had been stored too close."

Missing man found safe and well

An elderly man who was reported missing from his Bournemouth home yesterday has been found safe and well. 

Dorset Police said Clive Stevens was found in Bournemouth this morning, and thanked the public for assisting the force with its search. 

Fun run set to get under way

A charity fun run in Oxfordshire is expected to draw hundreds of spectators today. 

The Great Brook Run in Chadlington is in its ninth year and begins at 12:30. 

View more on twitter

The mile-long cross-country course attracts spectators from across the region.

It has previously seen former prime minister David Cameron take part four times since it started.  

Severe accident: A35 Hampshire eastbound

BBC Travel

A35 Hampshire eastbound severe accident, at A326.

A35 Hampshire - A35 Hunters Hill in Totton closed eastbound at the A326 junction, because of an accident involving a lorry and recovery work.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Weather latest: Sunny afternoon ahead

After a frosty and foggy morning, it is expected to remain bright and dry across the south for the remainder of the afternoon. 

Temperatures are expected to dip to 1C overnight, with frost and fog patches developing. 

BBC weather forecast for the South East
The temperatures are expected to dip to 1C overnight

A40 crashes: At the scene

Rahil Sheikh

BBC News Oxford

It's a cold frosty and foggy scene here on the A40 heading towards Witney. What's usually a scenic part of Oxfordshire is not very visible at all. Walls of thick fog are completely blocking the view of the fields to the right and left of the A40 and you can barely see the leafless branches of trees poke through the fog. 

On the road, cars disappear from view a few hundred metres away.

As I approached the Ducklington turn-off the blue police lights cut through the fog as the road has been closed with traffic directed towards the nearby service station. 

This is where the accident took place involving multiple vehicles.

Police are investigating and remain at the scene. 

South Central Ambulance service said there have been four incidents on the roads within a mile and a half but this has not yet been confirmed by the police.  

Saints set to host Spurs in Premier League

Southampton face Tottenham this evening in today's only Premier League fixture.

Spurs are unbeaten in their last four visits to St Mary's, with three wins and a draw.

But Saints, nine points behind their opponents, will fancy their chances. 

Top of the Premier League
BBC Sport
Saints, nine points behind their opponents, will fancy their chances

They have lost just once in their last six games -  winning three and drawing two.

Read a full preview here

Bumblebee and butterfly numbers hit by 'unsettled decade'

Bumblebees and butterflies have seen their numbers plummet after another year of unsettled weather, according to a National Trust study.


The 10th annual wildlife report from the trust said mild winters and bad weather in summer created bad conditions for small plants.

But while insects suffered, grass growth rose, meaning a good year for livestock farmers.

At Purbeck, in Dorset, meadow butterflies also saw a drop in numbers, with volunteers recording a fall in sightings of marbled white numbers by 73% and 23% fewer common blue butterflies.  

Eyewitnesses describe 'carnage' at scene of A40 pile-ups

Mother-of-two Ami Gaston, from Carterton, was in the car with her partner when she saw the first vehicle crash on the A40 about half a mile from the Witney exit, blocking the right lane.

"A man on his own had skidded and crashed into middle barrier," she said.

She added heavy fog meant the situation was "really dangerous", as it was difficult to see any other car until you were "on top of it".

A40 crash scene
Ben Starkey

HGV driver Ben Starkey, who was at the scene of the pile-ups in which one woman has died, said the road conditions were foggy and the road was icy at the time of the collisions involving more than 20 cars at about 08:30 GMT.  

"[The crashes] happened ahead of me and then behind, lucky enough I managed to stop my HGV," he said.

Another eyewitness, who did not want to be named, described "carnage" as she approached on the slip road from Carterton.

"I saw cars going zooming past me and trying to swerve out the way of the stationary cars, but crashing into them," she said.

"I saw one car try to swerve between a Mini and another car and end up crashing into the Mini and (flying) up in the air.