A MOTHER and her children were among those who perished in a horror eight-vehicle crash on the A34 as they made their way home from a camping trip.

Tracy Houghton her sons Ethan, aged 13 and 11-year-old Josh, and her partner's 11-year-old daughter Amiee Goldsmith, also aged 11 years, have been named as the Bedfordshire victims of the crash near East Ilsley yesterday evening.

Mrs Houghton's partner Mark Goldsmith witnessed the horrific crash and suffered whiplash and a broken rib as he drove his own Vauxhall car with his 13-year-old son Jake as a passenger.

Four lorries and four cars piled up between between High Street and Bury Lane, leaving a dozen others injured including one who was in a life-threatening condition, and traffic at standstill for miles in both directions.

The family were travelling back from a camping break in a two-car convoy when Mrs Houghton's Vauxhall Corsa was crushed and became lodged underneath a lorry.

Mrs Houghton's mother Jo Smith today expressed her family's devastation. 

She said: "Tracy's partner Mark and his son Jake were in a different car, they were following my daughter. They had to take two cars. They were behind my daughter's car. She was behind was behind the lorry and the car got shunted underneath the lorry.

"Mark is in bits."

The couple had split their luggage into two cars to travel in convoy for the holiday, which they set out for on Saturday.

Police, firefighters, six ambulance teams, a hazardous response team, and The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Thames Valley Air Ambulance crowded round the crash scene just after 5pm. 

Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood described the crash as "truly awful".

One man was flown to the John Radcliffe Hospital with life-threatening injuries, and a man and a teenage boy were taken to Royal Berkshire Hospital with minor injuries.

Nine more were treated at the scene by paramedics but did not need hospital treatment.

Thames Valley Police this morning said a 30-year-old from Andover has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and bailed until October 5.

The A34 northbound was completely blocked from 5.10pm following the crash but is open this morning.

The southbound carriageway closed so the air ambulance could land but re-opened at 9.30pm yesterday.

Chief inspector Henry Parsons, head of the joint operations unit for roads policing, said this morning: “Our thoughts are with anyone affected by this tragedy."

He asked anyone who witnessed the collision, including anyone travelling on the southbound carriageway who saw anything they "believe is significant", to contact police by ringing 101 and quoting URN 1109 10/8.