Husband discovered wife’s death after being diverted after work

John and Trudy Stripe

John and Trudy Stripe - Credit: Archant

A husband spoke this week of the heartbreak on discovering his wife had died in a crash that his own car had been diverted to avoid.

Trudy Stripe, 52, died in Coxtie Green Road, Coxtie Green, near Brentwood, on March 21 after leaving the garage she and her husband John owned nearby.

She had been to Pro-Stripe Bodyworks, in Doddinghurst Road, and was returning home to Harold Hill when her Jaguar was in collision with a Ford Fiesta just before 5pm.

But John, 49, did not find out what had happened until after he was diverted going home from work at 7pm.

He got to their house in Cowley Road and his wife wasn’t there.

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John said: “The road I usually take was blocked off because of a crash. By the time I got home, I couldn’t get hold of her.

“I started to suspect what had happened and drove back there and discovered she was in the crash.

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“I didn’t believe it then and still don’t believe it now. I am still in shock.

“She will be missed so much by everyone – all our family and friends.”

The couple had been together 25 years and married 18 years ago. She had a daughter, Kesley, 27.

Trudy, who grew up in Harold Hill attended Harold Hill Grammar before studying computer analysis.

Four years ago, she started a job as an events organiser at the Essex Party Shop, in Collier Row, as well as being a director at the garage.

John said: “Even though she only worked at the shop part-time, she enjoyed it so much. She was very good at organising events and knew what needed to go where.

“She was just full of life and was the life and soul of the party. People might think she was a bit mad and a bit crazy. But she was bubbly and friendly.”

Donna Lough was friends with Trudy for 18 years and worked at the Essex Party Shop with her.

She said: “She was full of fun and life and was very popular with all the people at the shop. She’s left a huge hole in all our lives and she will be sadly missed.”

Trudy’s funeral will take place today (Friday) at South Essex Crematorium, in Corbets Tey. Afterwards, family and friends will go to the Huntsman and Hounds.

John said: “She always wanted a horse and carriage so we have got one for her before the cremation.”

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the crash. They are asked to contact the serious collision investigation unit on 101 or email

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