Costa Coffee shop crash: Victim named as Valerie Deakin

Valerie Deakin Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Valerie Deakin was sitting near the window at the Costa coffee shop on Christmas Eve

The family of a 74-year-old woman who had been "enjoying a cuppa" when a car ploughed into a coffee shop and killed her on Christmas Eve have paid tribute.

Valerie Deakin, from Udimore, in East Sussex, died when an Audi crashed into the Costa in Westerham, Kent.

The married mother-of-two was in the coffee shop with her eldest daughter and best friend at 10:30 GMT on 24 December.

Her family said she was "modest, kind... and caring".

Image copyright Peter Thornley
Image caption Crowds gathered outside the coffee shop after the car crashed into the Westerham cafe

Her husband said: "Val, my lovely wife of fifty years, was enjoying a cuppa inside the Costa Coffee café, Westerham, accompanied by her eldest daughter and best friend.

"The shock and loss are indescribable. Modest, kind, exceedingly hard working and above all caring she loved all creatures, great and small, with a passion.

"We adored her."

Kent Police said the driver of the Audi appeared to lose control as the car came down the High Street.

Mrs Deakin had been sitting near the window inside the coffee shop at the time of the crash, police said.

Two men and two women were taken to hospitals in London and Farnborough. Another woman was taken to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury with minor injuries.

No arrests have been made.

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