Hun­dreds at­tend fu­neral of nurse killed in crash

Mum-of-two was pas­sen­ger in col­li­sion at no­to­ri­ous junc­tion

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Wright dwright@thek­m­ @Dan_WrightKM

Around 700 peo­ple turned out to pay their re­spects to a tal­ented nurse killed in a three-car crash on a no­to­ri­ous stretch of road.

Mother-of-two Mil­dred Matete Hlabi, 43, was a pas­sen­ger in a car trav­el­ling to a wake in Tun­bridge Wells when it col­lided with a van at a junc­tion in East Peck­ham.

Her fam­ily has now paid trib­ute to the Zim­bab­wean, who worked at KIMS Hos­pi­tal in Newn­ham Court Way, Maid­stone.

Her hus­band of 31 years, Moses, said: “I re­ally miss her and she was very com­pas­sion­ate and a kind lady.

“She leaves a big void be­cause she was a pil­lar of strength – Mil­dred was not only well known through the church, but also through her nurs­ing as she cared for so many peo­ple.”

Mrs Matete Hlabi, who lived in Ash­ford, was a dea­coness at Foun­tain Church in the town, where her fu­neral was held.

She qual­i­fied as a mid­wife in Africa, and worked as a nurse at the William Har­vey Hos­pi­tal and numer­ous care homes af­ter mov­ing to Bri­tain in 2004.

Mr Hlabi says she had a nat­u­ral affin­ity for nurs­ing af­ter look­ing af­ter her blind mother as a child.

“Mil­dred was a hard-work­ing per­son, very bub­bly, in­tel­li­gent and al­ways very will­ing to learn,” he said.

“It did blow me away how many peo­ple went to the fu­neral. She will be sorely missed by the whole com­mu­nity.”

She leaves be­hind 18-year-old son, Leroy, who plays for Gilling­ham FC’s youth team, and 25-year-old daugh­ter, Lenuecha, a univer­sity stu­dent.

An in­quest into Mrs Matete Hlabi’s death heard the Toy­ota she was trav­el­ling in was pulling out of Martins Lane, at the junc­tion with Seven Mile Lane, on De­cem­ber 13 when it col­lided with a van.

The Toy­ota was then hit a sec­ond time by a pass­ing Nis­san Mi­cra, push­ing the ve­hi­cle on to its roof.

Mrs Matete Hlabi died at the scene. The two other women in the Toy­ota, her friends from church, suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries, as did the driver of the Nis­san.

Mil­dred Matete Hlabi and right, Seven Mile Lane junc­tion with Martins Lane

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