Van driver jailed for 18 years for killing two people in M25 collision

The driver of a stolen van who killed two people and seriously injured four others when he drove the wrong way along the M25 has been jailed for 18 years.

Barancan Nurcin, aged 22, caused the deaths of his passenger Fahad Dek, and 39-year-old Zoe Hawes, the passenger of a vehicle he collided head on with on the motorway near St Albans in the early hours of Sunday 4 February.

Shortly before the crash, police had pursued Nurcin after being alerted to the stolen Citroen Dispatch van he was driving. The first pursuit started on the M1 near Hemel Hempstead but was abandoned when Nurcin joined the M25 driving against the traffic because it was too dangerous.

Nurcin returned to the Hemel area where police filmed him driving as fast as 80mph through an urban area before once more joining the M1 heading south against northbound traffic. Again, police stopped their pursuit because it was too dangerous to follow him.

Nurcin joined the M25 for a second time, driving at speed along the hard shoulder, in the face of oncoming vehicles. When the hard shoulder ended where bridges crossed the motorway, he was forced to drive into lane one of the traffic; the second time he did this he collided head on with Wayne and Zoe Hawes’ car with fatal consequences.

Zoe Hawes and Nurcin’s passenger Fahad Dek died in the crash and Zoe’s husband Wayne and the occupants of another car caught up in the collision were left with serious injuries.

Nurcin fled but was found by police on a bridge above the motorway shortly afterwards.   

Notes to editors

  • Barancan Nurcin (date of birth: 12.10.2001) pleaded guilty to the following offences at St Albans Crown Court on 26 March 2024:
    • Two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
    • Four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
    • Two counts of causing death whilst unlicensed.
    • Two counts of causing death whilst uninsured.
  • Nurcin was sentenced for the above offences and the following offences at St Albans Crown Court on 21 June 2024:
    • Breach of a suspended sentence order for causing Grievous Bodily Harm contrary to Section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 – from Wood Green Crown Court.
    • Causing Fear or Provocation of Violence contrary to Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986 – from Snaresbrook Crown Court.
  • In total, Nurcin was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for 20 years. 
  • Lisa Kiff is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern which prosecutes criminal cases in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.