Michelle Exton: Lawyers battle to re-open investigation into fatal hit-and-run of Dronfield mum in Tenerife

Lawyers representing the family of a beloved Dronfield mum who was fatally injured in a hit-and-run in Tenerife have appealed a decision by Spanish authorities who refused to re-open criminal proceedings into the crash.
Michelle died from catastrophic head injuries while on holiday in Tenerife after a van mounted the pavement.Michelle died from catastrophic head injuries while on holiday in Tenerife after a van mounted the pavement.
Michelle died from catastrophic head injuries while on holiday in Tenerife after a van mounted the pavement.

Michelle Exton, from Dronfield, was on holiday in Tenerife when she and her 75-year-old mother Ann were struck by a white van which reportedly mounted the pavement on December 11, 2022.

They were both taken to hospital where 50-year-old Michelle, a mother of two, sadly died four days later after sustaining catastrophic head injuries. Ann also suffered serious rib injuries.

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Police in Spain launched a manhunt to trace the driver, however just three weeks after the devastating incident, a judge ‘stayed’ the investigation, meaning the case was closed and police were barred from investigating further.

Michelle's daughters, Sophia and Jess, have described their mum as a “ray of sunshine”, who “lit up a room”, and “always had a smile on her face”.Michelle's daughters, Sophia and Jess, have described their mum as a “ray of sunshine”, who “lit up a room”, and “always had a smile on her face”.
Michelle's daughters, Sophia and Jess, have described their mum as a “ray of sunshine”, who “lit up a room”, and “always had a smile on her face”.

Following the judge’s decision, Michelle’s family instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate, who filed court documents asking for the case to be re-opened. But it has now been revealed that Spanish authorities have rejected the application, prompting lawyers to appeal the decision.

Representing Michelle’s family, James Riley, the specialist international serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “What has happened in the last couple of months with attempting to come to terms with the awful events of Michelle’s death and then the decision to close the investigation has been incredibly difficult for all her family.

“Understandably Michelle’s family are extremely disappointed that the application to re-open the proceedings has been turned down. However, we’re determined to help them and so we have appealed the decision.

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“We urge the Spanish authorities to work alongside us and Michelle’s family so they can be provided with the answers they deserve.”

Michelle was enjoying a holiday with her mother Ann just hours before the fatal collision.Michelle was enjoying a holiday with her mother Ann just hours before the fatal collision.
Michelle was enjoying a holiday with her mother Ann just hours before the fatal collision.

Michelle’s family, including daughters Sophia, aged 23, and Jess, 14, have continued to appeal for witnesses of the crash to come forward with any information about the driver and the collision.

It is reported that Michelle and Ann were walking from Las Chafiras to the Golf del Sur resort when the crash happened at around 8.30pm on December 11. Following the collision, the driver allegedly got out of the van and saw the women 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. The passenger side wing mirror of the white van fell off in the collision and was left behind at the scene. It is believed the van could have been a Renault Traffic, a Nissan Primastar or a Vauxhall Vivaro.

‘We’ll never get over losing mum’

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Daughter Sophia said: “Mum was the person in our family that everyone looked to for support. She was a truly loving person and nothing was ever too much trouble for her. Mum went out of her way to help others. We know nothing can bring her back but we now want to help her by at least establishing answers as to what happened and obtaining justice in her memory.

“We can’t thank enough those people who have already come forward with information about the collision. However, we need as much detail as possible to hopefully make the Spanish authorities see why the investigation needs to be re-opened so we’d be so grateful for any further details. Even the smallest piece of information could make all the difference.”

Anyone with information about the collision or the van or driver is asked to contact James Riley at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 203 5361 or [email protected].

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