Tributes have been paid to two “utterly devoted” parents who died after a head-on collision in Fenland last night (September 3).

Tributes have been paid to “utterly devoted” parents Robert Bateman, 36 and known as Bob, and his wife Paula Bateman, 35, of Westfield Road, Manea, who died after a head-on collision in Fenland last night (September 3). Picture: POLICETributes have been paid to “utterly devoted” parents Robert Bateman, 36 and known as Bob, and his wife Paula Bateman, 35, of Westfield Road, Manea, who died after a head-on collision in Fenland last night (September 3). Picture: POLICE

The crash involved a Ford Focus and an Iveco Daily van and took place on the A142 between Chatteris and Mepal just after 8pm.

Emergency services attended but the man driving the Ford Focus and his wife, who was one of the rear passengers, died at the scene.

The couple have now been named by police as Robert Bateman, 36 and known as Bob, and his wife Paula Bateman, 35, of Westfield Road, Manea, March.

The pair’s two daughters, Lexi, aged 10, and 18-month old Elizabeth, were also in the car.

It was initially thought that both girls, who were taken to hospital, suffered minor injuries.

However, further hospital checks revealed that Lexi suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Both girls have since been discharged from hospital.

In a statement, Bob and Paula’s family said: “We are utterly devastated by this news.

“Bob and Paula were much-loved friends to many and will be missed by everyone who knew them.

“They were also utterly devoted parents. Bob was a much-loved son and father, while Paula was a much-loved daughter, sister and mother.”

The van driver suffered minor injuries. The 32-year-old man from Lincoln was subsequently arrested on suspicion of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, and driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs.

He remains in custody at Thorpe Wood Police Station this afternoon.

Anyone who saw the collision or the vehicles in the lead up to it, or has dash cam footage, is urged to contact police via web chat or by calling 101, quoting incident number 478 of September 3.