The family of a woman killed in a collision on the M25 on Sunday (4 February) have paid tribute to a ‘wonderful mummy and nanna’.

Zoe Hawes, from Canvey Island, was travelling to go on holiday to celebrate her 40th birthday when the incident occurred.

It took place at around 4am between junctions 22 (London Colney) and 21A (North Orbital Road/St Albans). Officers had been in pursuit of a van which was then involved in a collision with three other vehicles, including the vehicle that Zoe was in. A second man, travelling in a different vehicle, was also killed in the collision.

No police vehicles were involved and the pursuit had been stood down prior to the collision. As a matter of course, the incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct who are now investigating.

A man in his twenties has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

In a tribute, Zoe’s family said:

“Zoe was the heart of our blended family. She was a role model to everyone and the centre of our family. She was a very much loved mum, step mum, sister, aunt and lovely young nanna. She was a friend to many. She was very much looking to go on holiday to celebrate her 40th with her husband. Sadly a holiday and birthday she didn’t get to celebrate. We are all trying to pull together as a family and are devastated to lose Zoe in this tragic way. 

“We wouldn’t have changed her for the world and she leaves an enormous hole in our family that will never be filled. 

“We love you and will miss you forever xx”

The collision is being investigated by Essex Police. If you saw what happened or have information, please email [email protected].

You can also report online at, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat at or call the non-emergency number 101 quoting Op Sericeous.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at

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