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Jade Mutua: Family want answers over death of woman hit by police car

Investigation launched after 22-year-old dies in hospital

05 September, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

TRIBUTES have been paid to a young woman from West Hampstead who died after being hit by a police car as she crossed the road.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IPOC) has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Jade Mutua’s death.

The 22-year-old’s fath­er, Jermaine Laxmidas, said: “It is just so sad. It is just terrible. I’m devastated. No words can describe it in any way.”

Jade died in hospital two days after the collision in Warwick Road, Kensington, at about 10pm on August 13.

Mr Laxmidas, who lives in Kilburn, said: “People say: ‘I am sorry for your loss’ but that doesn’t bring Jade back. We need to know what happened with Jade. We don’t know what happened. At the moment there are no facts.”

Jade grew up in Leighton Road, Kentish Town, with her aunt Anita Mutua and grandmother Gladwell Mutua, who died three years ago. She attended St Michael’s Primary School in Camden Street, Camden Town, and then Maria Fidelis Catholic School in Somers Town.

Ms Mutua, who has set up a fundraising page to raise money for Jade’s funeral, said: “I loved her as my own. I used to call her my first baby. She would call me up if she needed advice and would stay at mine all the time. I’m finding it very hard. It is a shock, a massive shock.”

She added: “Jade was a bubbly, outgoing, beautiful, lovely girl. She was a kind, giving girl who cared about everyone. It is just so surreal that she is gone.”

Jade, who was applying for a college place to study social work, was visiting a friend on the night of the accident.

Earlier this year, Transport for London proposed to introduce a signalised pedestrian crossing near the spot where Jade was hit after a consultation with residents in Warwick Road about road safety. The works are due to begin later this year.

Jade was a former student at Maria Fidelis School

Mr Laxmidas said: “It’s a very dangerous road. It is like a motorway.”

He added: “I’m not getting Jade back. You have to be strong-minded and face this directly. No words can explain how I feel. There is no book on how to deal with something like this. But I am looking to set up a charity in Jade’s memory to help with that. I can help others going through the same thing.”

Flowers at the scene in Warwick Road

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “My thoughts remain with Jade’s family and friends in this tragic incident and I am truly sorry for their loss. My thoughts are also with those who may have been affected by this incident.” Investigators are looking to speak to witnesses, who can call 0207 166 5133 or email rebekah. smith@policeconduct.gov.uk

A fundraising appeal for Jade’s funeral costs can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/rn6g7e-funeral-costs

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