Inquests open into deaths of mother and three children in Oxford crash

The inquests into the tragic deaths of a mother and three of her children in a road crash last month have been opened by a coroner.

Zoe Powell, 29, died from multiple injuries at the scene of the crash on the A40 near Oxford, 200 metres west of the M34 flyover, on October 12.

Her husband Josh Powell and their 18-month-old daughter Penny, who were passengers in the family’s Subaru people carrier, survived the collision with the heavy goods vehicle.

Powell family car accident
Powell family car accident

The couple’s eldest daughter Phoebe, eight, was also pronounced dead at the roadside having sustained multiple injuries, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday.

Son Simeon, six, and middle daughter Amelia, four, were both pronounced dead hours later at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Simeon’s cause of death was given as traumatic brain injuries, while Amelia suffered a severe head injury, coroner Darren Salter said.

The coroner described the incident as “tragic” and heard only basic details during the seven-minute hearing before adjourning.

The inquests will resume in March.

The family had been returning to their home in Chinnor, south Oxfordshire, having spent the weekend visiting Mr Powell’s parents Sue and Kevin Powell.

Multiple deaths in Oxford car crash
Multiple deaths in Oxford car crash

In a statement issued through Thames Valley Police after the crash, 30-year-old railway engineer Mr Powell said: “I had been blessed with four wonderful children, whose thirst for life and hunger for adventure kept me busy but in the best possible way.

“As I look to an uncertain future, I reflect on the fun that we had as a family, with feelings of sadness that it was cut so short.”

The HGV driver, a 56-year-old man, suffered minor injuries and has co-operated fully with the investigation, officers said.

The tragedy came months after the Powell family “lost everything” when they were forced into temporary accommodation following a fire at their home.

Friends, neighbours and members of the churches where the family were regular visitors described the Powells as “delightful” people.

A crowdfunding page set up by a colleague of Mr Powell’s has raised more than £150,000.