Family pay tribute to Castleford woman killed in taxi smash

Jacqueline Melinda Friend, 59, killed in a taxi crash in Great North Road, Doncaster
Jacqueline Melinda Friend, 59, killed in a taxi crash in Great North Road, Doncaster
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Tributes have been paid to two women who were killed in a late-night crash between two taxis.

The two vehicles – one a black cab and the other a minibus – were travelling on Great North Road near Doncaster in the early hours of Sunday morning when they collided close to the Mount Pleasant Hotel.

Lynda Leonard, 52, killed in a taxi crash in Great North Road, Doncaster

Lynda Leonard, 52, killed in a taxi crash in Great North Road, Doncaster

Jacqueline Melinda Friend, 59, of Castleford, and Lynda Leonard, 52, of Bradford, both died in the crash.

Both taxi drivers and eight other passengers suffered minor injuries.

A statement from Mrs Friend’s family said: “The most fabulous wife, mum, nana, sister, aunty and friend, was tragically taken from all her loved ones by the incident on Saturday night in Doncaster.

“Our world has been shattered, and will never be the same again. Jackie was the foundation of our whole family and will be missed unbearably by all who knew and loved her. We will love her forever.”

A statement from Mrs Leonard’s family said: “Lynda will be sadly missed by her daughter Abbygail and partner Colin.”

Mrs Friend and Mrs Leonard were in a LTI London taxi along with two men who were also in their 50s and the 61-year-old driver.

Their vehicle was travelling towards Bawtry when it was involved in a collision with a Fiat Scudo minibus taxi which was heading towards Doncaster.

The Fiat was carrying six passengers. They were three men and three women, all in their 20s. It was driven by a 40-year-old man.

Nine ambulances, two rapid response vehicles and firefighters were sent to the scene of the crash.

Police are still trying to establish how the crash happened.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Anyone who may have seen the incident or witnessed the manner of driving of either vehicle before the collision is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 26 of 31 January 2016.”