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Woman dies after crashing into icy pond as death toll from New Year's Eve freeze climbs to seven


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Woman dies after crashing into icy pond as death toll from New Year's Eve freeze climbs to seven



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 12:52 PM on 31st December 2009




A woman has died after her car crashed into a pond in freezing temperatures as Britain's New Year's Eve death toll climbed to seven.

Fire crews pulled the woman, who is thought to be in her forties, from the pond near Bristol, at about 8.30pm last night.

Despite efforts to save her she was pronounced dead at the scene. Firefighters searched the rest of the water and found no-one else.

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article-1239639-07BA52A6000005DC-867_634x404.jpg Winter wonderland: Heavy snowfall on the A672 between Halifax and Oldham caused cars to be abandoned and roads closed

Her death brought the number of lives claimed by the freezing weather to seven in the last 24 hours and came as forecasters warned of a chilly night tonight for New Year's Eve revellers with temperatures at midnight likely to dip below zero in many areas.


Organisers of new year celebrations around the country are bracing themselves for freezing conditions as revellers see in the new decade.


More than 200,000 people are expected to line the banks of the River Thames in London to watch a spectacular firework display, which this year will also mark the 10th anniversary of the London Eye.

The temperature in the capital is expected to be close to freezing.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: 'I hope that people will celebrate all the hard work they've put into 2009.'

In Edinburgh organisers are preparing to welcome 80,000 people to the Royal Mile as part of the city's Hogmanay celebrations, where the temperature is predicted to drop as low as -4c.

The freezing conditions also claimed the lives of three people caught up in avalanches while three others were killed in a crash on a snowy stretch of motorway. A climber who was rescued from a mountainside after an avalanche also died last night.

The avalanches all took place within a matter of hours and followed a warning from experts.

The calm but cold weather increases the likelihood of avalanches because of the build-up of surface frost.

Two climbers, one from Wiltshire and one from Wales, died in an avalanche on Ben Nevis. It was the first of three to hit the Scottish Highlands.


The second in Torridon, Wester Ross, claimed the life of a 53-year-old climber from Derbyshire. He had been found alive but died later from internal injuries in hospital.


Two other walkers were rescued from the third avalanche in Argyll.


As temperatures plummeted to as low as 3f (–16c) walkers had been warned about the dangers caused by the recent snowfalls.


The men killed in the car crash in West Yorkshire were aged 31, 24, and 27.


They are believed to be from the Preston area and were in a Mitsubishi saloon car when it left the westbound carriageway of the snow-hit M62 near Huddersfield and collided with the nearside barrier on Tuesday evening.



article-1239639-07BA3293000005DC-869_634x404.jpg Fireworks are prepared on barges on the River Thames in London ahead of tonight's celebrations



article-1239639-07B905C4000005DC-274_634x426.jpg Torchlight procession: Edinburgh's Royal Mile is lit up on Tuesday to mark the beginning of Hogmanay, five days of events to celebrate the New Year


In Cumbria, the treacherous weather led to a seven car pile-up on the A66, closing a stretch of the road and leaving up to 50 other cars stranded Dorothy Watson, 59, was among those stranded in her car on the A66 last night.


She said: 'We've been here for a couple of hours now. It's been snowy, but the problem today was the wind. The wind was really strong and it was blowing the snow off the hillsides.' A series of accidents yesterday added to the jams on many major roads. Accidents closed parts of the A14 in Suffolk, the A5 in Shropshire and the A628 in Greater Manchester.

A large tree fell on an empty car near Blaenavon, south Wales, blocking the Blaenavon-Cwmavon road.


article-1239639-07BA509D000005DC-134_634x417.jpg Covered in snow: Sheep huddle together for warmth in the Hope Valley near Buxton, Derbyshire


article-1239639-07BAB413000005DC-785_634x417.jpg Showing grit: Clearing a road near the M62 in Yorkshire yesterday

Rail services between Perth and Inverness were affected by the bad weather, while a broken down train at one of the country's busiest stations - Clapham Junction in south London - delayed services in and out of London's Waterloo station.

By late afternoon, snow was affecting most areas of Wales, with wintry showers in Scotland and north-east England.

Forecaster Gareth Harvey said party-goers seeing in the year should be prepared for sub-zero temperatures.

'For those staying up until midnight there will be clear skies and temperatures below freezing in some areas.'

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