TUI holiday dream ends for couple as horror smash on way to airport leaves two more dead

A couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary missed their £4K “once-in-a-lifetime” holiday after being badly injured on their way to the airport in a major road smash which left two people dead.

Dave and Liz Hindson told how the crash “came out of nowhere” and that Liz blacked out on impact, coming round to hear her husband’s cried as the “thought he was going to die”. They were the lucky ones – as the horrific road carnage claimed two other people’s lives and led to another driver’s arrest.

Dave and Liz had been getting a lift from a friend to Heathrow when they were caught up in the four-vehicle collision on the M25 at 4am. Dave, 59, had booked with Tui for 10 nights in Jamaica as “the honeymoon they’d never had” to surprise his wife for Christmas[1]. ‌But their dream trip to the Caribbean was left in tatters after the smash.

The crash left Dave with a fractured spine and sternum and Liz with abdominal bruising, a fractured thumb and signed off from work with stress.‌ Liz, 58, a nurse from Harlow, Essex said: “We are in total shock about the accident. We feel absolutely terrible for the people who lost their lives. We are so grateful to be alive and also feeling desperately sad and disappointed about our holiday.

The pair lost their holiday
The pair lost their holiday (
Jonathan Buckmaster)
Liz and Dave were celebrating their wedding anniversary
Liz and Dave were celebrating their wedding anniversary (

“We can’t afford to lose £4,000 and it’s such a kick in the teeth after Dave worked overtime and on call shifts to squirrel this money away for months. We are losing money from work too with Dave’s injuries and me being off.”

Liz says she was “thrilled and in shock” when radiographer Dave surprised her on Christmas day with an all inclusive holiday to Jamaica for their 30th wedding anniversary. The mum of three grown-up sons said: “Dave is not a flamboyant person and he’s never surprised me with anything in all our married years.

“I was surprised he’s managed to keep the holiday a secret from me. But he’d organised everything, even the dogs[2] would be looked after for us. Our last foreign holiday was 19 years ago when we took the boys away. We’d never even had a honeymoon we just wanted a home and a family.

“After over 30 years of both of us working in the same NHS[3] hospital we were really looking forward to the break and something special just for us instead we spent our anniversary on the 8th of February recovering and in shock at home.

The couple with their young family
The couple with their young family (

“I know it meant a lot to Dave to surprise me and it meant a lot to me. We’ve never been anywhere like that, it was a dream of mine and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spoil ourselves. But of course we also feel guilty moaning about missing our holiday when people lost their lives.

“We know how lucky we are and how catastrophic the crash has been for other families. It was a tragic accident that should never have happened and cost us dearly through no fault of our own.”

Mum of eight, Zoe Hawes, was also travelling to the airport to celebrate her 40th birthday when she was killed in the same crash. And a man in a different vehicle also lost his life in the incident.

On Tuesday, February 20, 22-year-old Barancan Nurcin of High Road, Tottenham, was charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Liz added: “Since the crash we haven’t had our suitcases back they are locked in our friends car in a police pound. The Peugeot 5005 my friend was driving was only nine days old. Safety wise it was obviously very good I think it’s modern features must have helped protect us.

They have been left out of pocket
They have been left out of pocket (
Jonathan Buckmaster)

“The impact came out of nowhere, there was just all in an instant a dark huge shape in-front of the windscreen like a skip had dropped off a lorry. I remember the impact then I blacked out. When I came to Dave was welping in pain. ‘My chest,’ he was wheezing in agony.

“He says he thought he was going to die. I went into nurse mode asking him to wiggle his toes and calming him down. We stayed in the car until the ambulance came. At hospital a CT scan showed Dave had a stable fracture of the spine and one in his sternum.

“We have a long road to recovery and wouldn’t be fit to fly for months but the idea of perhaps salvaging our trip as something to look forward to gives us some hope in an extremely bleak time.”

The Mirror contacted TUI and a spokesperson encouraged the couple to contact the company so they could look into the case.


  1. ^ Christmas (
  2. ^ dogs (
  3. ^ NHS (