Family of mother who died after Tenerife hit-and-run launch inquiry bid
The family of a British woman who died after a hit-and-run in Tenerife have appealed for help from ex-pats and tourists as they launched a legal challenge to force the Spanish authorities to “leave no stone unturned” to find the driver.
Michelle Exton, 50, suffered catastrophic head injuries when she and her mother Ann were hit by a white van which mounted the pavement when they were on holiday.
Ms Exton, from Dronfield, near Sheffield, died in hospital four days later as a result of the injuries she suffered in the collision near the resort of Golf del Sur in December.
Her 75-year-old mother suffered serious rib injuries in the crash.
Now her family – including daughters Sophia, 23, and Jess, 14 – have launched a bid in the Spanish courts to force the authorities to reopen the case.
Their lawyers said on Thursday that officers launched an investigation to find the driver of the van, but this was brought to a halt by a judge who “stayed” the investigation after three weeks, effectively stopping inquiries.
Sophia said: “The last couple of months have been such a mix of emotions – hurt, pain, grief, anger.
“The decision to close the investigation has just added to the stress of everything.
“We’d do anything to have mum back in our lives but we know that’s not possible. Our focus now is on at least trying to honour her memory by getting the justice for mum that she deserves.”
She said: “We want the authorities to leave no stone unturned in trying to trace the driver.
“We’d be so grateful to anyone who came forward with information about the driver or the van.
“Lots of British people go to Tenerife on holiday, or have family that live there, so hopefully someone might have seen the van or the driver and come forward.”
Sophia also appealed to the driver to “find their conscience and come forward”.
“This wasn’t a minor incident. My mum, who had so much to live for, was killed and a family ripped apart forever by his actions.”
Sophia said: “Mum was a ray of sunshine, a role model. She always had a smile on her face and her door was always open.
“She was always there when we needed her but would also go out of her way to help others.
“Nothing was ever too much trouble for Mum.
“Everyone loved her and she would light up the room. She really was beautiful inside and out.”
James Riley, serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The decision by the judge to stay the investigation has only added to their pain.
“Michelle’s family believe that the decision was made before a thorough and proper investigation could be carried out and has denied them the chance to see the driver brought to justice.”
Mr Riley said that Ms Exton and Ann were on a road leading from Las Chafiras to Golf del Sur when the crash happened at about 8.30pm local time on Sunday, December 11 2022.
Following the collision, the driver briefly got out of the vehicle and saw the couple on the ground, before driving off.
The driver is described as a white man, approximately 5ft 8ins tall with a bald or closely shaven head.
Anyone with information can contact Mr Riley on on 0121 2035361 or email@example.com