Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Two girls orphaned as 'utterly devoted' parents die in head-on crash

A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after two ‘utterly devoted’ parents died in a head-on crash. 

Two young girls, aged 1 and 10, have been left orphaned by the horrific incident in Cambridgeshire on Thursday night. 

Robert Bateman, 36, and his wife Paula, 35, died when their car crashed with a van on the A142 between Chatteris and Mepal.

Their daughters Lexi, 10, and 18-month-old Elizabeth were also in the car at the time but escaped with non life-threatening injuries. 

In a tribute issued through police, the family of Mr and Mrs Bateman, from Manea in Cambridgeshire, described them as ‘utterly devoted parents’.

‘We are utterly devastated by this news,’ they said. ‘Bob and Paula were much-loved friends to many and will be missed by everyone who knew them.

‘They were also utterly devoted parents. Bob was a much-loved son and father, while Paula was a much-loved daughter, sister and mother.’

Both of the couple’s children have now been discharged from hospital. Elizabeth suffered minor injuries while Lexi had serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Cambridgeshire Police said the van driver, a 32-year-old man from Lincoln, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, and driving while unfit through drink or drugs. He suffered minor injuries and remains in custody.

Police said Mr Bateman was driving the Ford Focus and his wife was a rear passenger.

Anyone who saw the collision or the vehicles in the lead up to it, or has dashcam footage, is asked to call police on 101.

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