Community in shock after crash

A FRIEND of an Essex woman fighting for life in hospital after a three-car accident last night described her as her "honorary daughter."Linda Dove, 41, was yesterday in a critical but stable condition at Queens Square Hospital, London, after being transferred from Colchester General Hospital.

A FRIEND of an Essex woman fighting for life in hospital after a three-car accident last night described her as her "honorary daughter."

Linda Dove, 41, was yesterday in a critical but stable condition at Queens Square Hospital, London, after being transferred from Colchester General Hospital.

She was involved in a crash on the B1029 near Thorrington Tide Mill just before 7am on May 15 when a red Ford Escort cabriolet was in collision with her silver Hyundai Accent and a blue Vauxhall Cavalier.

The crash was so bad Brightlingsea Road was closed for almost four hours causing schools in the area to shut down for the day.


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Firefighters spent almost an hour cutting the Ford Escort driver from the wreckage, who is also in a life-threatening condition at Colchester.

Friends and neighbours in close-knit Brightlingsea said Miss Dove, who lived alone and is a member of one of the town's oldest families, had always been a caring and reserved person.

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Neighbour Dorothy Chivers, of Oysters Reach, said Miss Dove, who worked as a caterer at Great Bromley residential home Hamilton Lodge, would do anything for anybody.

"She's a smashing person and has got a wonderful sense of humour. She always comes round here to chat. We moved in around the same time – I think he helped each other.

"I like to think of her as an honorary daughter. She's the last person to deserve this."

Jane Pleass, a school friend of Miss Dove's at Colne High School, said: "She is a very loving person. Her brother Richard must be feeling awful."

Julie Curtis, of Oysters Reach, said she had heard someone had been killed in a crash as she set off for work that day and when she saw Miss Dove's car being loaded on to a truck she thought the worst.

She said: "I went straight to the police station – it was dreadful. She is very caring person, very placid and private person. All she wanted to do that day was go to work.

"She was doing some gardening recently – when her cousin saw what she was doing, she said: 'I thought I would never see it happen'."

Alan Goggin, Mayor Deputy of the Cinque Port Liberty, said he knew Miss Dove's late father, Dennis Dove, well.

He said: "Dennis was a big cheese around here – he was Mayor Deputy to the Cinque Port Liberty of Brightlingsea.

"The family is very established - Linda's brother Richard is captain of the cricket club. Linda is a bit quieter – what's happened is awful."

Last night Richard Dove was by his sister's bedside in hospital.

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