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Tributes paid to Canvey couple killed in holiday crash
8:20am Thursday 6th September 2012 in News
TRIBUTES were paid yesterday to a Canvey couple who died in a head-on crash in Somerset.
Michelle Edney, who was in her sixties, of Kings Park Village, Canvey, and Paul Hobday, 61, also from Canvey, died last Thursday when their Ford Focus collided with a Volkswagen van, on the A303 Ilminster bypass.
Two people in the Volkswagen were also injured in the incident.
Devastated friends and neighbours have paid tribute to the pair, who were thought to be going on holiday to visit relatives when the tragedy occurred.
Phillip Foot, secretary of Island Boys Football Club, said: “Paul worked as a manager to our under-14/15s club a few years ago. He was a really nice bloke, really friendly and certainly knew his football. I got on well with him. It’s upsetting to hear this sad news.”
Residents on the over-fifties Kings Park Village, off Creek Road, where Michelle lived, said Michelle was the life and soul of the village.
Archie Taylor, 64, of Kings Park, said: “This is such a sad, sad loss and such a shock. My wife was in tears when she found out and I was just completely knocked back.
“Michelle was such a big character on the park, and such a lovely woman. I don’t think there was a single person here who didn’t like her.”
Touching notes, flowers, potted plants and balloons have been laid outside her home, painted lilac, which was one of her favourite colours.
Dave Davis, 65, of Kings Park, said: “You only had to see the colour of her house to know she was one of a kind. Her house was almost as well known on the park as she was. She really will be sadly missed.”
Several people also visited the Echo’s website yesterday to leave messages of condolence.
One reader said: “Our thoughts are with her family and her boyfriend Paul's family.
They were lovely people and this was such a tragic accident.”
Michelle’s dog Bertie also died in the crash.
Janice Peacock, bar manager at Jack Rabbits, in Kings Park, said: “She was such a lovely person and everyone is deeply shocked by what has happened.
“She was in here on the bank holiday with Paul and her daughter and son-in-law playing pool, which really makes it hit home how fragile life is.
“It’s such a tragedy for them both to have been killed, and her poor dog.
“We’ll be holding the wake here in a few weeks, and I’m sure it will be well attended, because they were so well known on the Island.”
Police said the crash happened when the car travelled across the central reservation of the busy road, before hitting the van on the opposite carriageway at about 8.30am.
The road was closed to traffic for almost four hours while emergency services dealt with the incident.
An inquest into the accident will be open in Somerset today.