Oxford

Thames Valley Police staff commended after four-death crash

Tracy Houghton, Ethan Houghton, Aimee Goldsmith and Josh Goldsmith Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Tracy Houghton, son Ethan, stepdaughter Aimee Goldsmith and younger son Josh were all killed

Seven police officers and staff who dealt with the aftermath of a pile up on the A34 which killed a mother and three children have been given commendations.

Tracy Houghton, 45, died instantly along with her sons Ethan, 13, and Joshua, 11, and her partner's daughter Aimee Goldsmith, also 11, when Tomasz Kroker smashed into stationary traffic.

Kroker, 30, was jailed for 10 years.

He was scrolling through music selections at the time of the crash.

It happened on the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border on 10 August.

The commendations recognise the outstanding work, bravery and dedication of the officers that responded to the collision.

Image copyright INS
Image caption Tomasz Kroker was using a mobile phone at the wheel of his lorry
Image caption Kroker's truck ploughed into a stationary queue of two lorries and four smaller vehicles

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Francis Habgood presented them during a ceremony at Sulhamstead Force Training Centre in Reading on Tuesday.

Henry Parsons, head of roads policing at Thames Valley Police, said: "I think the fact that three children were involved in this crash makes it stand out for the wrong reasons.

"The officers involved were very proud to be recognised but ultimately none of them wanted to be there, they just think they're doing their job."

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption The seven officers and staff were recognised alongside other colleagues at Tuesday's ceremony
Image caption Ellie Selby was commended for an awareness video made using footage from the crash

Insp Andy Storey, Sgt Jack Hawkins, Det Sgt Gavin Collier, PC David Beeson, PC John Simpkins, PC Philip Hanham, digital communications officer Ellie Selby and media officer Lucy Billen were all recognised at the ceremony.

Ms Selby, who made an awareness video using footage from the crash, said: "A commendation like this shouldn't exist, people shouldn't be using their mobile phones, and a family should still be alive today.

"So it's a sobering occasion for many reasons. A lot of good has come from the video that was produced, but hopefully we don't have to create another video like that ever again."

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Media captionDash cam footage shows Tomasz Kroker at the wheel of his lorry before the crash on the A34 in Berkshire

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