A young man is fighting for his life after being involved in a road accident that claimed the life of his mother.
An outpouring of sympathy for the family has come from villagers, shocked by the crash, which happened on the A281 just east of Rudgwick, just after 5pm on Sunday (July 28).
Clare Taylor, 53, of Farnham Road, who worked as a lunchtime supervisor at Elstead’s village school, was a passenger in the car and died at the scene.
The car’s other two occupants have been named locally as Mrs Taylor’s husband, David, 57, and her son, William, 23, who was driving.
William was taken to the Royal London Hospital suffering from head, chest and arm injuries, where he remained in a critical condition as the Surrey Advertiser
went to press.
David Taylor received minor injuries, which did not require hospital treatment.
The Taylors’ blue Skoda Felicia was being driven in a westerly direction when it was involved in a collision with a silver Honda CR-V, travelling eastbound.
The Honda’s 64-year-old male driver, from Crawley, suffered minor injuries but did not need hospital treatment. His 59-year-old female passenger, also from Crawley, suffered a broken arm and was taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.
The road was closed for several hours while a forensic examination was carried out.
The Taylors have lived in Elstead for many years and are well-known in the village.
While Clare worked at St James CofE Primary School, William has worked for many years at the Spar shop on the village green – staff there helped him celebrate his 23rd birthday just last week.
Bev Cook, a parent governor at the school, said: “We are deeply saddened by these tragic events. Our thoughts and prayers are with Clare’s family,” while the school’s PTA chairman, Tracy Harding, said her children, Joel and Aaron Hatfield, “loved” Clare.
Aaron said: “She was very helpful and kind.”
Joel added: “If me and my friends were being silly, she would calm us down, she was very nice.”
Regulars at William’s favourite village bar, the Royal British Legion club in Thursley Road, said they were clubbing together with staff at the Spar to send a big card to William.
Wesley Bickmore said: “All of us are putting all our positive thinking into hoping Will pulls through and can come to terms with what has happened.
“We hope he knows we are all here for him. He has a heart of gold and is a lovely guy.
“This is an absolute tragedy for all the family. Will talks about his parents a lot. I think they were visiting other family members on Sunday. Will is just such a nice, quite quiet but really funny guy.
“This is a small village and everyone is hoping and praying for the family.”
Neighbours said William has a sister, Lucy, who was not involved in Sunday’s accident.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision and anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Donegal or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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