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The family of a woman who died after a number of offenders made off from the scene of a crash in Cannock have paid tribute to her.
Joan Hill, aged 73, from Rugeley, died following the collision on the A5 near the Longford island in Cannock on Sunday 1 January, after the red Peugeot she was travelling in was hit by a blue Ford Kuga.
The occupants of the Kuga then climbed into a nearby red Ford Focus and made off from the scene.
Paying tribute to Joan, her family said: “Joan’s life was cruelly taken from her by a hit-and-run driver on New Year’s Day.
“A retired primary school teacher, with a very active life, Joan will be sadly missed by her devoted husband Terry, her loving son Matt, her grandchildren, brother, wider family and friends.
“As a family, we would like to personally request that anyone with information on what happened should come forward and report it to the police.”
The Ford Focus was reported stolen from the Tipton area at the end of December 2022 and had been linked to a recent business burglary and attempted thefts.
Prior to the collision on the A5, an unmarked police car became aware of a suspicious Ford Focus. A Ford Kuga, stolen from Telford earlier the same day, then overtook the Focus and in doing so, the Kuga collided with the victim’s car.
Two male offenders then jumped out of the Kuga and into the Focus, before making off from the scene.
Officers followed the Focus until the A462 Warstone Road in Shareshill, where the vehicle successfully made off.
The Focus has since been found burned-out in the Walsall area.
Detective Inspector, Ian Pickstock, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was a horrendous collision involving individuals we already suspected of being involved in criminality, acting unlawfully on our roads.
“It is tragic that Joan lost her life in such circumstances and our thoughts and sympathies remain with her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.
“I understand the community is concerned about what happened and we are doing all we can to identify those responsible.
“Please come forward to us if you have any relevant information or CCTV or dashcam footage that could help us bring justice to Joan and her loved ones.”
Officers are also reminding the public not to speculate as to the circumstances of the crash on social media while the investigation takes place.
The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct due to recent police contact with the stolen vehicles.
Anyone with information should contact us on 101, quoting incident number 558 of 1 January 2023.
Alternatively, submit your information directly to investigators via this link:
https://mipp.police.uk/operation/STAFFS23K02-PO1 or QR code:
Or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.