Family of woman killed in Tenerife hit-and-run appeal judge’s decision to close case
Michelle Exton, 50, was on a family break in the Canary Islands when a white van ploughed into her.
The family of a British woman killed by a hit-and-run driver on holiday in Tenerife have appealed against a judge's decision to close the criminal investigation.
Michelle Exton, 50, was on a family break in the Canary Islands when a white van ploughed into her near the resort of Golf del Sur on 11 December last year.
Her elderly mum Ann, 75, was also struck by the vehicle as it mounted a pavement before failing to stop at the scene.
Michelle, from Dronfield, Derbyshire, died four days after being rushed to hospital with catastrophic head injuries.
Ann suffered serious rib injuries as well as cuts and bruises and spent a night in hospital before being discharged.
Spanish Police initially launched a hunt to trace the van driver, but a judge ordered the probe into the fatal crash to be closed three weeks later.
Lawyers say the judge ‘stayed’ the investigation – meaning the case was closed and police were effectively barred from investigating it any further.
Michelle’s family, including daughters, Sophia, 23, and Jess, 14, hired UK lawyers who filed court documents last month asking for the case to be reopened.
But legal firm Irwin Mitchell said on Wednesday authorities had refused the application to reopen the investigation and the family were now appealing that decision too.
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."
The family are now appealing for witnesses, including any British tourists on holiday at the time, to come forward with information about the collision.
Michelle and Ann were on a road leading from Las Chafiras to Golf del Sur in south Tenerife when the crash happened at about 8.30pm.
Following the collision, the driver briefly exited the vehicle and saw the couple on the ground, before driving off.
The driver is described as a white man, approximately 5ft 8in 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.
The family have been told police believe the van could have been a Renault Traffic, a Nissan Primastar or a Vauxhall Vivaro.