England

Mother and three children die in A34 crash in Berkshire

Tracy Houghton Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Tracy Houghton was travelling home in a car with her two sons and an 11-year-old girl

A mother and three children have been killed in an eight-vehicle crash.

Police said the group, from Bedfordshire, were all in the same car.

They have been named locally as Tracy Houghton, 45, from Dunstable, and her two sons, Ethan, 13, and Joshua, 11, along with an 11-year-old girl.

Thames Valley Police declined to comment on reports Ms Houghton's partner was driving behind in a separate car at the time of the crash on the A34 in Berkshire.

A 30-year-old man from Andover, who was driving one of the lorries involved in the crash, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has been bailed until 5 October.

A man flown by air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford is receiving treatment for serious injuries.

A further 11 people sustained minor injuries, according to Thames Valley Police.

Image caption The southbound carriageway was closed to allow an air ambulance to land

Sam Difalco, a friend of the family, told the BBC: "She was outgoing, devoted to her kids. She was a lovely lady. It is devastating. It's terrible."

A spokeswoman for Central Bedfordshire Council, where Ms Houghton worked, said: "This terrible news has come as a great shock to everyone who knew Tracy, who worked within our financial services team based in Dunstable.

"Tracy worked directly with our customers and was a dedicated and highly professional member of staff."

Her team leader, Gary Muskett, said: "Tracy was a hugely likeable and bubbly person who was much admired by her colleagues, many of whom saw her also as a dear friend.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with her family."

The crash happened between Chieveley and East Ilsley at about 17:10 BST on Wednesday, causing a six-mile tailback on the northbound carriageway.

Thames Valley Police said the northbound carriageway reopened at about 06:30, while the southbound carriageway was closed for about five hours.

Speaking at the scene on Wednesday night, Insp Andy Storey said: "It's big scene, a massively tragic scene, and very difficult for officers to deal with.

"The four who died were in the same motorcar. The stretch of the road the accident occurred on is an uphill section and we are looking at the speed of the vehicles involved."

Image caption The road closure led to six-mile tailbacks on the northbound carriageway

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