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UK News

Prayers pour in after Christian mother and her three children die in horrific car crash

by Will Maule

Tributes have been paid to a Christian blogger and her three children who died in a crash in Oxford.

Zoe Powell, 29, from Chinnor in Oxfordshire, her two daughters Amelia, four, and Phoebe, eight, and her six-year-old son Simeon were killed when the family's silver Subaru people carrier collided with a white HGV near a railway overbridge on the A40 to the west of Oxford on Monday night.

Two other passengers in the Subaru, her 30-year-old husband Josh and their 18-month-old daughter, were taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where they both remain in a critical condition.

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

Reverend Dr Jacky Barr, from St Andrew's Church in Chinnor, where Zoe Powell and her children attended an after school club spoke to Premier and paid tribute:

"They were a lovely family, the kids were polite and engaged and just a joy to have with us.

She added that the community is praying for the recovery of Josh and his youngest child.

"Everybody is just praying for the recovery of both of them. As a village we are in a state of shock and everyone has their own grief and we are trying to stick together."

Mrs Powell was a Christian blogger and artist who designed Bible devotionals and typography cards inscribed with various verses and quotes. 



In a statement to Premier, Chinnor Community Church, where the family attended on a Sunday, said:

"Josh and Zoe Powell along with their children Phoebe, Simeon, Amelia and Penny have been active, involved and much-loved members of Chinnor Community Church throughout their young lives.  

"The news of the death of Zoe, Phoebe, Simeon and Amelia has shocked and saddened not just their church family here but also the whole community of Chinnor in which they were known and greatly loved.  

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

A JustGiving page has been set up to help Josh and his young daughter as they recover. So far, over £16,000 has been raised. 

Chinnor Parish Council said in a Facebook post that it was "saddened and shocked" by news of the fatal crash.

It said: "The Chinnor Community Church on the High Street has created a space for flowers to be laid for the family. CCC has a cross outside that anyone can come and lay flowers if they wish. Our thoughts and prayers to everyone."

Meanwhile, Oxford City Council leader Susan Brown tweeted: "Horrible, horrible news and my thoughts are not just with the family and friends but with all those professionals doing their jobs who have seen sights they will sadly never forget."

Police said they were called at 9.50pm, adding they received "multiple" calls from the public.

Senior Investigating Officer Sergeant Dominic Mahon, of the serious collision investigation unit, based at Bicester, said officers were in the very early stages of the investigation into what he described as an "incredibly tragic" and "horrendous" incident.

Appealing for help from the public, he said: "I would appeal to anybody who was driving in the area at the time of the collision and witnessed what happened to please contact 101, or make a report online, quoting reference number 43200321914.

"I would also urge anybody who has dash-cam footage of the incident or either of the vehicles just prior to the incident to please not share this publicly, but contact police with this detail."

Sgt Mahon warned against speculating about the cause of the collision, adding: "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.

"I would like to also pay tribute to our officers, first responders and medical professionals, who dealt with this collision.

"Our officers and colleagues from the other emergency services were dealing with an extremely upsetting scene, and I would like to thank them for the work that they carried out overnight."


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