Protestors are being lambasted following the death of two women after an ambulance was forced to battle through traffic and diversions to reach those lying waiting for help after an accident on the M20. Just Stop Oil activists took to the Dartford Crossing in Kent on October 17, leaving police left with no option but to close the busy crossing. Diversions were put in place which led motorists on the M20.
Builder Mark Heap, 54, took the diversion with his friend Ben when he stopped on the hard shoulder to help a stranded car following a minor accident.
But tragically, a vehicle then collided into the group who were waiting for assistance on the hard shoulder.
Mr Heap was “launched into the air” along with two women, Dr Habiba Hajallie, 35, and Lisa Webber, believed to be in her 50s. The group had to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive as paramedics fought traffic to reach the group.
Sadly, both women died in the accident, with Mr Heap suffering a broken leg and vertebrae. His daughter-in-law, Chelsey-Corbey West, 21, said the builder was “lucky to be alive”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “After the accident, Mark was launched into the air and bounded off the barrier, breaking one of his vertebrae and one of his legs, and his friend luckily managed to drag Mark to the hard shoulder. It took 40 minutes for the ambulance to reach them because of the protestors on the Dartford Crossing.
“As far as we’re aware, no one involved in the accident, bar one driver, would have been on the M20 had the crossing not been closed. Mark took the M20 to avoid the traffic and follow the diversions put in place.
“We’re all incredibly grateful for him to still be here. Everyone is coping in their own way. We are all surrounding Mark and giving every bit of support we can. It has been mentally draining and emotional.”
Mark, who is self-employed, is now expected to be out of work for at least four months following the incident as he recovers at home with his wife, Jill.
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Dr Habiba Hajallie, affectionately known as Bee, has been named by her family after she died in the M20 crash.
In a statement released by the family, they said Bee was a “true NHS hero” who had” selflessly sacrificed” by being away from her family during the pandemic as she worked on the covid frontline. The mother-of-one was described as having an “infectious personality” and they said she leaves behind an “irreplaceable void”.
She lived in Swanley with her fiance Adam Linnell and their five year old daughter. Lisa Webber was named as the second victim by her father.
Mark, who has suffered “mentally” since the accident, said: “The eco-warriors may have thought it was an innocent protest, but they’ve got blood on their hands. I don’t think they deliberately caused the crash. But their actions, bringing the traffic to a stand-still on the M20, caused the crash in which those two women died.”
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The Dartford Crossing protest had ended after Just Stop Oil tweeted they had “agreed to cooperate with police”.
Morgan Trowland, 39, and Marcus, a 33-year-old teacher from London, had stayed in hammocks high above the cables of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge for two days by that point. Just Stop Oil tweeted: “Morgan and Marcus have agreed to cooperate with police and leave the bridge. #JustStopOil will continue in #CivilResistance to harmful politics and our criminal government. To protect our rights, freedoms and the rule of law”.
Officers from Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit are working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the collision, which took place at 8.20am.
The family are fundraising on GoFundMe to support Mark and his wife Jill whilst the pair are out of work.
Just Stop Oil have been contacted by Express.co.uk in relation to the crash.