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‘Much-loved’ mother killed in police smash while heading for 40th birthday holiday

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Tributes have poured in for a “much loved mum” who was killed in a horror crash on the M25, as her vehicle became caught up in a police car chase.

Zoe Hawes, from Canvey Island, had been looking forward to going on holiday to celebrate her 40th birthday when the incident occurred at around 4am between junctions 22 and 21A near St Albans.

Officers had been chasing a stolen white Citroen van which was then involved in a collision with three other vehicles, including the vehicle that Ms Hayes was in.

A second man, travelling in a different vehicle, was also killed, while a man in his twenties has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

No police cars were involved and the pursuit had been stood down prior to the collision.

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“She was a very much loved mum, step mum, sister, aunt and lovely young nanna.”

Zoe Hawes’ family

As a matter of course, the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct which is now investigating.

In a tribute, Ms Hawes’ family said: “Zoe was the heart of our blended family. She was a role model to everyone and the centre of our family.

“She was a very much loved mum, step mum, sister, aunt and lovely young nanna. She was a friend to many. She was very much looking to go on holiday to celebrate her 40th with her husband. Sadly a holiday and birthday she didn’t get to celebrate.

“We are all trying to pull together as a family and are devastated to lose Zoe in this tragic way.

“We wouldn’t have changed her for the world and she leaves an enormous hole in our family that will never be filled.

“We love you and will miss you forever xx”

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IOPC Regional Director Charmaine Arbouin said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic incident.

“Given that police officers were pursuing one of the vehicles before the fatal collision, it’s important that we independently investigate the actions and decision-making of the officers involved.

“We will ensure that our enquiries do not impede the police investigation, and we will keep those involved regularly updated.”

Anyone with information regarding the incident is being encouraged to come forward by contacting the police on 999 or by emailing Essex Police at [email protected].

Source: Independent

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