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Jess Waterman: Bishop's Stortford family's tribute to their daughter and sister who died after car crash days before 21st birthday

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A Bishop's Stortford family have paid tribute to the “beautiful daughter” and “treasured sister” who was tragically taken from them just days before her 21st birthday following a car crash.

Jess Waterman, who worked at Sainsbury's at Thorley Park, was a passenger in a Mini that crashed in Epping late one Saturday night last month.

The former Herts and Essex High School student and Richard Whittington Primary School pupil died the next day – three days before her 21st birthday.

Crash victim Jess Waterman: “She leaves a gaping hole not only in our lives but in the lives of so many others."
Crash victim Jess Waterman: “She leaves a gaping hole not only in our lives but in the lives of so many others."

The 32-year-old driver was arrested on multiple offences and remains under investigation on police bail.

Officers were called at around 10.30pm on Saturday February 19 to reports of a single-vehicle crash in Houblons Hill, Epping, involving a red Mini. Jess died the next day, Sunday.

Her immediate family, consisting of her parents and younger brother, hailed their “beautiful daughter” and “treasured, older sister” saying they “cannot describe the pain of losing her”.

They said: “Jess was beautiful inside and out. Her desire to help and support those around her was the crux of who she was.

“For someone so young, she had amazingly strong morals and values with a striving passion towards making the world a fairer and safer place to be.

“Jess loved to laugh and see the funny side in everything. She had such an infectious personality which seemed to touch so many and she really did light up the room as she walked in.

“She leaves a gaping hole, not only in our lives but in the lives of so many others.

“We love you, Jess, you will remain forever in our hearts.”

The drivers remains on police bail until March 20 after he was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop, failing to report, driving whilst unfit, possession of cannabis and perverting the course of justice.

Police renewed their appeal to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash or who saw the red Mini prior to it. They would also like to hear from anyone who has dashcam footage. You can email it to Essex Police's serious collision investigation unit via CollisionAppeal@essex.pnn.police.uk.

Alternatively, you can submit information online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the 'live chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm. Please quote incident 1397 of 19 February. You can also call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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