Sisters and cousin killed after M25 breakdown

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The Independent Online

Three members of the same family died when they got out of their car after it stopped in the fast lane of the M25, police said yesterday. Two sisters aged 22 and 25 and their 25-year-old female cousin were struck by a van after leaving their apparently broken-down Peugeot 206.

Three members of the same family died when they got out of their car after it stopped in the fast lane of the M25, police said yesterday. Two sisters aged 22 and 25 and their 25-year-old female cousin were struck by a van after leaving their apparently broken-down Peugeot 206.

A fourth woman, the dead cousin's 22-year-old sister, stayed in the car and survived the crash, near Leatherhead, Surrey, at 4.30pm on Saturday.

The victims, who were all from the Crawley area, had been on their way to a concert by the American pop star Justin Timberlake at the London Arena.

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: "We will not be releasing their identities today and do not expect to have any further updates."

Officers were trying to find out why the silver car stopped in the outside lane of the clock-wise carriageway.

The spokeswoman said three of the four women got out, apparently in an attempt to cross the road to the hard shoulder, when they were struck by a white Mercedes van. The van then collided with an MG sports car on the hard shoulder but the drivers of both vehicles escaped injury.

"The conditions were very wet at the time and the visibility was very poor. It appears that a vehicle in front of the Peugeot lost control on the slippery surface and the driver had to swerve to avoid it. It clipped the central reservation and came to a stop in the fast lane. Three of the women then got out and were struck by the van following behind."

Two of the women were pronounced dead at the scene and the third was taken to Epsom Hospital, where she died. The fourth woman was treated for minor injuries. The van driver was treated for shock and the MG driver was unhurt. The clockwise carriageway was closed for six hours.

¿ A 24-year-old man died and seven other people were badly injured in a crash on Saturday at Swinton, South Yorkshire. The accident, which involved a Vauxhall Astra and a Peugeot 405, happened at 11.30pm.

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