A WOMAN has died following a road smash in Malpas last week.

Nurse Deborah Hewitt, 47, was travelling to work to cover a night shift at Prospect House Nursing Home on High Street, when her Ford Focus collided with a Landrover Discovery near the Ebnal Lane junction just after 8pm on Wednesday (February 16).

Firefighters from Malpas and Chester battled for 45 minutes to free Mrs Hewitt, who was trapped in her seat by the steering wheel pressing on her chest.

She was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital where she remained in a critical condition before she died of her injuries the following Friday.

The driver of the other car, a 42-year-old woman from Chester, received treatment for shock at the scene, but was not harmed.

Shocked work colleagues of Mrs Hewitt, who lived in Wrexham, this week paid tribute to ‘an especially gifted nurse’ in a statement issued by Prospect House:

“With great sorrow we announce that following a car accident on Wednesday evening Sister Debbie Hewitt died of her injuries on Thursday night.

“For the last nine years Debbie has been leader of our night care team. She was universally admired and loved by all staff and residents.

“On behalf of everyone we extend our heartfelt sympathy to her husband Gary and her two girls.”

Cathy Reynolds, chairwoman of Malpas Parish Council, believes it is the second fatality on the same stretch of road in recent years and has campaigned for safety measures in the village to be improved.

She said: “Road safety in Malpas is definitely an issue, and certainly the parish council have always taken these issues very seriously. Places like Malpas were never built to have so many cars go through it.”

She added: “For such a tragedy to happen in a small village like ours makes it even more of a shock. I wish to express my deepest condolences to the whole family.”

Police have launched an appeal for witnesses to come forward. People with information should call 0845 458 0000.