Lawyers And Family Renew Appeal For Witnesses Or Those With Information About Driver To Come Forward
A criminal investigation into the death of British mum killed in a hit-and-run in Tenerife has been re-opened following a successful legal challenge.
Michelle Exton, from Dronfield, Derbyshire, was on holiday in the Canary Islands when she and her mum, Ann, were hit by a white van which mounted the pavement.
Michelle, aged 50, suffered fatal head injuries. She was taken to hospital but died four days later. Ann, aged 76, suffered serious rib injuries and a back injury in the crash which happened near the resort of Golf del Sur.
Michelle Exton's family ask lawyers for help
Spanish Police launched a hunt to trace the van driver. However, just three weeks after the incident a judge ‘stayed’ the investigation, meaning the case was closed and police were effectively barred from investigating further.
Following the decision Michelle’s family, including daughters, Sophia, 24, and Jess, 15, instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate.
Decision to close investigation into Dronfield mum Michelle's death overturned
A judge initially rejected an application to re-open the investigation. However, after lawyers at Irwin Mitchell working alongside Spanish lawyers appealed the decision, the Spanish courts has given police permission to resume its investigation.
Expert Opinion“Michelle’s family remain devastated by her death and the circumstances surrounding it. Trying to come to terms with what happened has been made all the harder by the decision to close the criminal investigation and the subsequent refusal to re-open it.
“All the family have wanted is for the most thorough investigation to be conducted and all lines of inquiry pursued.
“While nothing can make up for what’s happened, we’re pleased that following our legal submissions, the courts in Spain have agreed to reopen the criminal investigation. This decision gives hope to the family that the driver involved in the collision will be traced and they’ll receive the answers they deserve regarding Michelle’s death.
“We continue to support Sophia, Jess and Ann and appeal for those with information about the collision to come forward.” James Riley
What happened to Michelle and Ann
Michelle and Ann were on a road leading from Las Chafiras to Golf del Sur in the south of the island when the crash happened at about 8.30pm local time on Sunday, 11 December, 2022.
Following the collision, the driver briefly got out of the vehicle and saw the couple on the ground, before driving off.
Ann spent the night in hospital having sustained rib trauma, cuts and bruises.
Appeal for witnesses to come forward with information about collision
The family are appealing for witnesses, including British tourists who will have been on holiday at the time, to come forward with information about the driver and the collision.
The driver is described as a white man, approximately 5ft 8ins tall with a bald or closely shaven head. The passenger side wing mirror of the white van fell off in the collision and was left behind at the scene.
The family have been told that the van could have been a Mercedes Sprinter, Renault Traffic, a Nissan Primastar or a Vauxhall Vivaro.
Family welcome decision to re-open criminal investigation into Michelle's death
Sophia said: “Mum was our family. She was the person we all looked up to and went to for help and advice. She was a wonderful, loving, caring and thoughtful person and didn’t deserve to die in the way she did.
“It almost impossible to find the words to describe what these past few months have been like. We’ve had to endure so much mental torture. Trying to start the process of trying to grieve for mum has been almost impossible given the unanswered questions we still have about what happened.
“While time has moved on, it’s stood still for our family. The hardest thing to try and come to the terms with is how mum’s life has been taken away while the driver is probably out there still living their life.
“We’re just thankful that the Spanish authorities have seen sense and re-opened the investigation.
“We’ve had messages from well-wishers over the last few months and their kind words have brought us some small comfort. However, what we need now is for more people to come forward with information about the collision or the moments before and immediately after.
“Even the smallest piece of information could make all the difference in at least honouring mum’s memory.”
How people can help Michelle's family
Anyone with information about the collision or the van or driver, is asked to contact James Riley at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 203 5361 or email email@example.com
Find out more about our expertise in helping families following an accident abroad at our dedicated holiday accidents claims section. Alternatively, to speak an expert contact us or call 0808 291 3581.