Family Tribute To Basildon Crash Mother

The family of a mother-of-three who died when her car was in a collision with a fire engine answering an emergency call in Essex have paid tribute to her.

The family of Martha Gakonde, 39, said she was a "generous and caring person'' whose death had left "a huge void''.

Mrs Gakonde died after her Toyota Yaris and the fire engine crashed in Basildon on September 9th.

Firefighters were on their way to rescue an 11-year old girl who was trapped in a car after a two-vehicle crash on Pitsea Road, Basildon. She had suffered minor injuries.

Mrs Gakonde, from Wythefield, Basildon, was pronounced dead at the scene after fire crews tried to cut her free from the car.

She had worked as a carer for adults with mental health issues in Tower Hamlets and was about to begin training as a mental health nurse at the time of her death.

Mrs Gakonde's husband John and children Nathan, Peter and Kathy paid tribute to her in a statement issued through Essex Police. "Generous and caring person that she was, she was drawn towards working with people suffering from mental illness,'' it said.

"To her husband she was the love of his life and best friend. She was also a devoted mother. She loved, for example, organising family trips based on a theme, related to some child's particular interest.

"However, not only was she dedicated to supporting her own children to fulfil their potential in whatever they engaged in, she was also a 'mother' to many others, ever willing to support those in need with practical support and wise counsel. Her premature demise has left a huge void.''

Witnesses to the crash are asked to contact Essex Police's serious collision investigation unit on 0300 333 4444.