BBC News

Tributes to 'delightful' Chinnor family killed in crash

Published
media captionZoe Powell and her three eldest children died in the crash. Josh Powell was critically injured

Tributes have been paid to a "lovely" mother and her three young children who were killed in a crash.

Zoe Powell, 29, died with Phoebe, eight, when their people carrier collided with a lorry in Oxfordshire.

Their deaths on Monday night came just months after the family lost everything in a blaze at their home in Chinnor.

Mrs Powell's son Simeon, six, and four-year old Amelia, died at John Radcliffe Hospital where their father, Josh, 30, and 18-month-old sister remain.

Mr Powell and his daughter are in a serious condition but showing signs of improvement and "expected to make a recovery", Thames Valley Police said.

Reverend Dr Jacky Barr said the tragedy had shocked the community in Chinnor, where the Powells had been living in temporary accommodation since the electrical fire in June.

The crash happened on the A40, near a railway bridge between Oxford and Cassington, at 21:50 BST on Monday.

Dr Barr, of St Andrew's Church, said the Powells were a "delightful family" and had attended the church's after-school sessions.

"They were just a lovely family, they really were. This has come as such a shock and loss to us all in the area," she said.

The vicar opened the church for prayers, candles to be lit, and so a book of condolence could be signed in tribute.

image captionThe crash happened on the A40, between Oxford and Cassington,on Monday

Chinnor Community Church said the family were "much-loved members" who had attended worships regularly and played an active role.

"The family placed their belief in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and we are confident that Zoe and the children are now safe in the arms of God," it said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with the family as we pray for healing and recovery for Josh and Penny."

A friend and neighbour of the Powells said the "whole family would do anything for anybody".

The woman, who asked not to be named, said Mrs Powell was a "great neighbour and a lovely person".

image copyrightSarah Mak
image captionZoe Powell, 29, and three of her young children died after a crash with a lorry

"She did a lot for the community, not just through the church," she added.

"I just can't believe what's happened, I'm too upset to talk any more about it really."

Mrs Powell, who had lived in Chinnor since the mid-2010s but was previously from Sheffield, was a blogger who wrote about motherhood, family life and the challenges of having young children.

She created a specialised diary called the Mama Book, which was written to help young mothers find "mental space in the midst of motherhood".

Another of the Powells' neighbours talked of how "incredibly sad" she felt, especially after the house fire.

'Such a sad loss'

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "It was a hard enough year for them regardless, and now this... it's just incredible.

"It's rather raw and it's horrendous. They were all absolutely lovely - the children were a delight, they were bouncy, bubbly, just really happy children.

"I can't imagine how any of the family are feeling right now."

  • Mother and three young children killed in crash

Maureen Dyroff, a supervisor at a pre-school one of the children had attended, said the family had "lost everything in the fire" and had been living in temporary accommodation since.

"They were a beautiful family and it was such a wonderful honour to work with the three older children," she said.

"We are all in deep shock and mourning over such a sad loss of so many members of that beautiful family."

A JustGiving page set up by a railway worker colleague of Mr Powell already raised more than £10,000.

The 56-year-old driver of the lorry involved in the crash suffered minor injuries and is helping officers with their investigation.

No arrests have been made.

Related Topics

  • Oxford
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Chinnor
  • Cassington

More on this story

  • A40 crash: Mother and three young children killed in Oxfordshire