'Dangerous' driver who killed Essex mum in M25 crash while driving the wrong way is jailed

Barancan Nurcin killed two people and seriously injured four others in a crash
-Credit: (Image: Hertfordshire Police)

The man who killed an Essex mum in a crash after driving the wrong way on the M25 has been handed the longest sentence ever imposed for death by dangerous driving. Barancan Nurcin, 22, killed two people and seriously injured four others in the crash.

At around 3.40am on February 4, police were alerted to an ANPR activation on the M1 for a white Citroen Dispatch van that had been reported stolen from the Greater Manchester area. Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (RPU) were dispatched to search for the van which at was located at junction 6a on the M1 travelling southbound at 3.53am.

The van failed to stop and a police pursuit was authorised. The van took an emergency access road off the main carriageway before entering another carriageway and travelling towards oncoming traffic.

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The police pursuit was aborted for public safety. The van was then spotted by officers in Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, where it again failed to stop for officers before it was spotted travelling on the wrong side of the M25.

Officers followed it along the correct side of the road. At around 4.08am, the van collided with a silver DFSK 580 Glory between junctions 22 (London Colney) and 21A (North Orbital Road/St Albans).

Zoe Hawes, who was killed in a crash on the M25 on Sunday, February 4
Zoe Hawes, who was killed in a crash on the M25 on Sunday, February 4 -Credit:Herts Police

The crash killed passenger Zoe Hawes from Canvey Island who was on her way to a holiday to celebrate her 40th birthday. Zoe's husband sustained broken bones all over his body, severe damage to his face, and bleeding to the brain, before he was placed in a medically induced coma.

He suffered memory loss due to sedatives he was given and had to be repeatedly told that his beloved wife had died. In a tribute, Zoe's family said : "Zoe was the heart of our blended family. She was a role model to everyone and the centre of our family."

A silver Skoda Superb and a black Peugeot 5008 collided with debris. In the Peugeot were another couple being driven by their friend to Heathrow Airport where they should have been jetting off to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

All three sustained injuries that they are yet to recover from. The Skoda contained two occupants who both sustained bruising and other injuries.

Fahad Dek, 23
Fahad Dek, 23, has been described as a pillar of strength who was cherished by all -Credit:Family handout

Nurcin left the scene, leaving behind his friend and passenger Fahad Dek, who had died in the crash. Officers found Nurcin nearby and he was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

He was then arrested at hospital before being taken into custody. Officers discovered his driving license had been revoked in 2021 when he was caught driving under the influence of cannabis.

At the time of the incident, Nurcin was serving a suspended 15 month prison sentence in relation to a GBH which occurred in London. The sentence has now been activated.

He was also on bail for a public order offence, which happened in London, and today he was given a 5 month sentence which will run concurrently.

Nurcin, of High Road in Tottenham, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday (June 21) where he was handed an 18 year prison sentence. He had pleaded guilty to the following offences on March 26:

  • Causing death by dangerous driving x2;

  • Causing serious injury by dangerous driving x4;

  • Causing death whilst unlicensed x2;

  • Causing death whilst uninsured x2.

'Selfish and dangerous actions'

Chief Inspector Steve O'Keeffe, from the RPU at Hertfordshire Police, said: "Although nothing can make up for the pain Nurcin has caused, I am pleased with today's result. Nurcin's actions have had catastrophic consequences causing the deaths of two innocent people. Many more lives have also been destroyed through the trauma and heartache he has caused. The impact of this dreadful collision cannot be overstated and my thoughts are with the victims' loved ones.

"Zoe Hawes was a much loved mother and grandmother whose life was cruelly cut short because of Nurcin. Zoe's husband will require intensive therapy for a long period of time to assist with physical movement, communication and cognitive skills. He currently has no sight in one of his eyes.

"Fahad Dek was just twenty-three, with his whole life ahead of him. He was described by his family as a pillar of strength and they dearly miss him. That Nurcin left Fahad in the vehicle, whilst trying to evade officers, speaks volumes of his character.

"Nurcin had plenty of opportunity to safely pull over for police. Instead, he ignored our officers and made the incomprehensible decision to drive towards oncoming traffic, knowingly putting the public at risk. I hope today's result goes some way in easing the pain of all those affected by the utterly selfish and dangerous actions of Nurcin."

The circumstances leading up to the collision are being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct as is usual in matters like this. The criminal investigation was led by Essex Police.

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