Family killed in Oxford crash 'were moving house after last one burned down'

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·4 mins read

Watch: Four from the same family die in A40 collision

  • The family in the fatal A40 crash near Oxford has been named

  • 29-year-old Zoe Powell and her three children died in the collision on Monday night

  • Tributes have been left to the family by their community

  • Visit the Yahoo homepage for more stories

Tributes have been paid to the “lovely” family involved the fatal car crash near Oxford.

The four victims, named as Zoe Powell, 29, daughters Amelia, four, and Phoebe, eight, and six-year-old son Simeon all died in an incident on the A40 Monday evening.

Police said the collision involved their Subaru people carrier and a heavy goods vehicle.

Two other passengers in the Subaru, reported to be Powell’s 30-year-old husband Josh and their 18-month-old daughter, were taken to hospital in Oxford and are in a critical condition.

Thames Valley Police said the driver of the HGV, a 56-year-old man, suffered minor injuries.

Zoe Powell from Chinnor, Oxfordshire, with her husband Josh and their three children. (Sarah Mak Photography)
Zoe Powell from Chinnor, Oxfordshire, with her husband Josh and their three children. (Sarah Mak Photography)

The Sun reported that the family had recently found a long-term home after moving around following a house fire.

Neighbours and figures in the Chinnor community, where the family was living, left tributes to Powells.

One neighbour who did not want to be named said: “They stayed here after the overnight fire – there was smoke pouring from their house.

“It’s incredibly sad, 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.

“Their mum and dad were lovely too, and they thought the world of their kids and would have done anything for them.

“I can’t imagine how any of the family are feeling right now.”

Zoe Powell was named as a victim of the A40 crash. (Sarah Mak Photography)
Zoe Powell was named as a victim of the A40 crash. (Sarah Mak Photography)

Maureen Dyroff, who supervised at Jack and Jill pre-school in Chinnor when Phoebe Powell started, said the family “lost everything in the fire” and moved into temporary accommodation.

She added: “They were a beautiful family and it was such a wonderful honour to work with the three older children.

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

William Milroy, Zoe Powell’s father, told the Sun that the family had been moving from house to house but recently began renting a long-term place.

“They were going home. I don’t know where they had been but they had recently moved into a new rented house after theirs had burned down,” he said.

The A40 near Oxford where a four-year-old girl, a six-year-old boy, an eight-year-old girl and a 29-year-old woman from Chinnor, Oxfordshire, died Monday night after a collision between a people carrier and a heavy goods vehicle.
An an aerial view of the A40, where the incident took place. (PA)

Reverend Dr Jacky Barr, from St Andrew’s Church in Chinnor, said the family came to church and Zoe Powell and the children would attend after-school sessions.

“They were just a delightful family. The children were always very engaging.

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

A close friend of the Powells placed a teddy bear outside Chinnor Community Church, which the family also attended.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “They were just such a lovely family, and I watched her (Zoe) going through her pregnancy and having all the children.

“I can’t explain – it’s just so devastating… heartbreaking.”

Powell ran a blog website about being a mother, oriented towards the mental health and wellbeing of mums.

She would write about coping when a child is ill, dealing with new challenges and promoting the use of a journal to record events and feelings.

Damage to road barriers on the A40 near Oxford where a four-year-old girl, a six-year-old boy, an eight-year-old girl and a 29-year-old woman from Chinnor, Oxfordshire, died Monday night after a collision between a people carrier and a heavy goods vehicle.
Damage to road barriers on the A40. (PA)

Police were called to the collision at 9.50pm on Monday, with emergency services arriving at what police described as “an extremely upsetting scene”.

Thames Valley Police’s Sergeant Dominic Mahon said: “We will leave no stone unturned to ascertain what has caused this tragedy.

“The next of kin of the family have been made aware and are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers.

“The thoughts of all of us at Thames Valley Police, along with our partners who have assisted at the scene or at the hospital, are with the families at this incredibly difficult time.”

He urged against speculating about what happened and asked for witnesses to call 101 or make a report online using reference number 43200321914.

Chinnor Parish Council said on Facebook it was “saddened and shocked” by the crash and that a space for flowers to be laid has been made on the village high street.

Oxford City Council’s leader Susan Brown said it was “horrible, horrible news”.

Watch: Community left 'reeling' after Oxford car crash kills four