Oxfordshire: Tributes pour in after series of fatal crashes

The fatal crashes took place across the space of a fortnight in Abingdon[1], Bicester, Henley and Besselsleigh.

A man in his 20s, named locally as Len, died on Gravel Hill in Henley after his Audi A3 car came to rest on its roof following a collision that involved no other vehicles on Tuesday, May 21 at around 11.10pm.

The following week, motorcyclist Jeffrey Williams, aged 57 from Bicester[4], died at the junction of Middleton Stoney Road and Empire Road in the town following a crash with a van on Monday, May 27, morning.

Just the day after, an 85-year-old man, who has not been named, died in hospital after being a passenger involved in a four-car crash on the afternoon of  Wednesday, May 22.

And Thames Valley Police confirmed a 37-year-old man also died outside the Greyhound pub in Besselsleigh after being struck by a purple Ford Fiesta and black Honda FR-V at around 10pm on Wednesday. 

A 60-year-old man from Coventry has been arrested[5] on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.

In Henley, floral tributes have been left at the scene along with a photograph of the man known as Len, as well as cards, bottles of alcohol and candles.

thisisoxfordshire: Floral tributes at the scene on Gravel Hill in Henley-on-Thames

Albanian flags have also been wrapped around a tree next to the road with the message “RIP Len” scratched into the trunk.

One tribute said: “A message to a good friend who we had a very short time with. To laugh and joke with. To us, he was very nice, kind and a loyal friend.”

Another read: “Never thought I’d have to write this bro. I’ll miss you so much.

“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. Your name will always be remembered.”

Two 17-year-old boys from Reading were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but were later released with no further action.

thisisoxfordshire: Police appeal sign at the scene on Gravel Hill in Henley-on-Thames

Three men from Reading, aged 21, 22 and 25, were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and of various drug offences, including intent to supply class A drugs, with the trio since released under investigation.

Police are appealing for witnesses and have placed yellow notices at the scene asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Mr William’s family also paid tribute to the Bicester motorcyclist in a statement that was released by police on Thursday (May 30) morning.

thisisoxfordshire: Police at the scene of the incident

It said: “Jeff was known to all his family and friends as kind hearted, giving and caring.

“He was always ready to help others and was so positive at everything he embarked on.

“He was a very loving, thoughtful husband and father to a son and cocker spaniel who both adore him.

“He was loved by all his family and friends and a respected colleague to all that knew him.

“We are devastated at the sudden loss of Jeff and we will always love him. He will be missed by many.”

The driver of the van was not injured in the collision, police have said.

Tributes have also been paid to the 85-year-old man who died following the crash in Abingdon, which also injured five other people.

The man has not been named at this stage[7].


Pauline Preece wrote: “My thoughts go out to the family who’ve lost their loved one and those involved.”

Lucie Ballard said: “Thinking of the family. You will be sadly missed.”

Hayley Keep added: “How awful for all involved.”

Help support trusted local news 

Sign up for a digital subscription now: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/subscribe/[8]

As a digital subscriber you will get:      

  • Unlimited access to the Oxford Mail website   
  • Advert-light access       
  • Reader rewards       
  • Full access to our app


  1. ^ Abingdon (www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk)
  2. ^ Police on site after protesters return to (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Oxford (www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk)
  4. ^ Bicester (www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk)
  5. ^ A 60-year-old man from Coventry has been arrested (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
  6. ^ Under-fire council commends Jeremy Clarkson and Clarkson’s Farm on tourism boom (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
  7. ^ stage (www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk)
  8. ^ https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/subscribe/ (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)