Fatal M25 Police Pursuit Claims Lives As A Mother is Killed in Multi-Vehicle Crash Sparking IOPC Probe into Hertfordshire Officers

Fatal M25 Police Pursuit Claims Lives As A Mother is Killed in Multi-Vehicle Crash Sparking IOPC Probe into Hertfordshire Officers

In a devastating incident on the M25 at approximately 4 AM on Sunday, a mother, Zoe Hawes, lost her life in a police chase collision that also claimed another man’s life.

The pursuit involved a stolen white Citroen van and resulted in a multi-vehicle collision, prompting a subsequent arrest and an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the actions of the officers involved.

The Heartbreaking Loss:

Zoe Hawes, a 40-year-old mother and grandmother from Canvey Island, was en route to celebrate her 40th birthday on holiday when tragedy struck.

The collision occurred between junction 22 and 21A near St Albans, involving the stolen Citroen van and three other vehicles, including the one Zoe was in.

Despite the pursuit being abandoned before the collision, a man in his twenties has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Tributes to Zoe:

Zoe’s family, devastated by the sudden loss, paid heartfelt tributes to their beloved member.

Describing her as the “heart of our blended family,” they highlighted her role as a cherished mother, step-mother, sister, aunt, and a beloved young nanna.

Zoe’s family expressed the deep void left by her passing and the poignant fact that she couldn’t celebrate her 40th birthday and holiday as planned.

IOPC Investigation:

The IOPC is scrutinizing the involvement of Hertfordshire police officers in the events leading up to the fatal crash.

The police chase initiated on the M1, with officers attempting to stop the stolen van, was eventually abandoned due to perceived risks.

However, a subsequent pursuit on Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, and the fatal collision on the M25 have prompted an independent investigation.

Details of the Pursuit:

Officers in a marked vehicle were tailing the stolen Citroen on the M1 before initiating a pursuit, which was later deemed too hazardous and abandoned.

A subsequent sighting of the van traveling on the wrong side of the M25 prompted another pursuit, with the tragic collision occurring between junctions 21a and 22.

The driver of the van was hospitalized, and a criminal investigation is underway by Essex Police.

IOPC’s Involvement and Appeal for Information:

The IOPC is actively gathering evidence, including dashcam footage and officers’ accounts, to piece together the circumstances leading to the tragedy.

IOPC Regional Director Charmaine Arbouin emphasized the importance of an independent investigation, ensuring that it does not hinder the police inquiry.

Hertfordshire police are appealing for witnesses, information, and dashcam footage to aid their investigation, urging anyone with pertinent details to come forward.


As the investigation unfolds, the M25 police chase crash serves as a grim reminder of the complexities and consequences associated with pursuits, leaving families devastated and communities grappling with the aftermath.

The call for information remains open, as authorities work to unravel the sequence of events leading to this tragic loss of life.

TDPel Media

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