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Mum and 3 children killed in horror smash with lorry

Parenting advice: Zoe Powell, her husband Joshua and three of their children PICTURE: HNP

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular blogger and three of her children who have died in a road crash.

Zoe Powell, 29, was killed along with daughters Phoebe, eight, Amelia, four, and their brother Simeon, six.

The family’s people carrier collided with a lorry near a bridge over a railway on the A40 north of Oxford.

Ms Powell’s husband Joshua, 30, and their 18-month-old baby girl were last night fighting for their lives in Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital after Monday’s accident. The lorry driver, a 56-year-old man, suffered minor injuries.

‘Upsetting scene’: A police car at the site of the crash on the A40 near Oxford PICTURE: BBC

David Patchett, 36, was one of the first people on the scene and described hearing ‘a loud explosion’ that shook his houseboat moored nearby.

‘The car was in the middle of the road — it wasn’t just front-end damage, it looked like it had been crumpled like a can,’ he said.

‘It was a horrifying thing to see and my first thoughts were nobody had survived — that’s how bad it was.’ Ms Powell was known for her blog about motherhood and a website that she used to share parenting tips.

On her joy at being a mother, she wrote: ‘There are crazy, messy, stressful moments but they are also scattered through with many beautiful, everyday, wonderful moments.’

News of the tragedy prompted an outpouring of grief and condolences online. One Facebook message read: ‘I cannot begin to imagine the scene that the emergency services faced, just harrowing. A complete tragedy, my heart breaks for the family.’

Another added: ‘What an absolute horrific accident. Poor victims. Condolences to their families.’

Neighbours said the family had been living in temporary accommodation after their home in Chinnor, Oxfordshire, was wrecked by fire several months ago.

Outside Chinnor Community Church, which they attended, bouquets were laid at a cross that had been put up ‘as a focal point’ for mourners.

Sgt Dominic Mahon, of Thames Valley Police, said an investigation was in the ‘very early stages’.

He added: ‘We will leave no stone unturned to ascertain what has caused this tragedy.’

Sgt Mahon said the family’s relatives were being supported by specially trained officers. He praised emergency services staff confronted with an ‘extremely upsetting scene’.