TRIBUTE BOARD: Tragedy as Huntingdonshire couple die in car crash

A COUPLE who had got back in touch with each other just a few months ago after 15 years apart were tragically killed in a car crash on Thursday. Anji Read, 33, from Kings Road, Eaton Socon and Lee Joseph, 35, from Godmanchester, were on their way back fro

A COUPLE who had got back in touch with each other just a few months ago after 15 years apart were tragically killed in a car crash on Thursday.

Anji Read, 33, from Kings Road, Eaton Socon and Lee Joseph, 35, from Godmanchester, were on their way back from a day snowboarding at Milton Keynes.

They were travelling towards St Neots in Miss Read's Honda S2000 sports car on the A428 just outside Bedford. At about 8pm, her car crossed onto the westbound carriageway and was in a head-on collision with a Vauxhall Frontera.

The couple were pronounced dead at the scene. The female driver of the Frontera was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured collarbone.

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The couple's families said they had known each other as teenagers but lost contact. They were reunited through the internet networking site, Facebook.

Anji's sister Donna Wooding, 40, said: "They originally knew each other as part of a group of friends. Her message to him sat in her outbox for two years but somehow eventually the messages got through. They were good for each other."

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Lee's mother Ruth Joseph said: "We are just pleased that he had found someone who made him truly happy and that he spent the last day of his life doing something he loved."

The couple had started dating this year after reuniting. Lee had married his second wife Laura in 2003, but the couple had separated.

Speaking for Anji's family, including her parents Paula and Brian, her brother Martin and sister-in-law Alison, Mrs Wooding said they were in deep shock.

"This is something you can't begin to understand or really believe. It's like a bad dream and you think you are going to wake up."

Mrs Joseph said: "We have been to hell and back. It feels like someone has screwed up my heart like a balloon. I know we will experience joy again but there will always be something missing."

Lee had three younger sisters and his family described him as a devoted uncle to Tyla, eight, Lewis, six, and nine-month-old baby Seth.

His middle sister Laura, 28, said: "He was the best brother you could have - he always told you to think on the positive side. He would do anything he could to help people out."

Mrs Wooding said her sister Anji, a former pupil at Bushmead School and Ernulf (now St Neots Community College) was a wonderful auntie to her daughters, Kerri-Lee, 18 and Rhian, 13 and Martin's children, Alfie, nine and Evie, six.

"She loved doing things with them, our most recent trip was to Drayton Manor theme park. She was a real adrenaline junkie, she loved the rides and we all had a great day.

"Anji had a lot of friends, she was bubbly and she loved socialising. She lived for her animals. She lived in a flat but she had a cat, a rabbit and fish and if she had had the room she would have taken in all the strays. She spent a lot of time at Wood Green Animal Shelter, animals were her focus and she was thinking of training to work with them.

"We were really good friends, we would go out together, dancing and drinking having a good time, shopping. I will remember her for just always being there. I will miss her. There is a huge emptiness in all our hearts because everybody loved her so much."

She added: "She loved R&B music and we want to play music at her funeral that she would have liked but there was so much she liked that it is difficult to choose. She also loved her sports car, it was her baby. We are having wreathes in the shapes of her animals and one will be a bright yellow car."

Lee, who attended Buckden Primary School and Hinchingbrooke School, had a successful career in IT, and worked at Cambridge University.

His family said he loved cars and was an extremely positive person who loved socialising - one of his favourite haunts was Huntingdon's Old Bridge Hotel.

Mrs Joseph said: "He was so generous with his time and his money. He loved looking out for people. He had an infectious personality."

Lee's father Gary, 59, added: "There are people who have lived twice as long who have not done half as much. He was a joy."

The family pledged that a service to be held at Cambridge Crematorium for Lee next week will be a celebration of his life, and have asked those attending to wear bright colours.

nMr Joseph's service will take place at Cambridge Crematorium, West Chapel, on Wednesday, September 17 at 1.30pm. Miss Read's funeral will be at Bedford Crematorium on Thursday, September 18 at 1.45pm.

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