Mother, 55, and daughter, 16, burned to death in horror fireball after driver drove into them while on drugs and using TikTok

A MUM and her daughter burned to death in a horror fireball after being hit by a drugged driver using TikTok.

Emma Van der Avoird, 55, was driving her daughter Khiana, 16, to school in November 2021 when they were plowed in.

Emma Van der Avoird was driving her daughter to school when tragedy struck


Emma Van der Avoird was driving her daughter to school when tragedy struckPhoto credit: family photo
Khiana and her mother both died at the scene


Khiana and her mother both died at the sceneCredit: family
Luke Flanagan was high on cocaine and scrolling through TikTok when he plowed into the back of her car


Luke Flanagan was high on cocaine and scrolling through TikTok when he plowed into the back of her carCredit: Police

The Cambridgeshire couple sat in stationary traffic during rush hour when Luke Flanagan’s Transit pulled into the back of their Peugeot.

The vehicle was thrown four feet into the air before bursting into flames – which also spread to Flanagan’s van.

Flanagan, now 28, was high on cocaine when he tragically killed a mother and daughter on the A421 near Renhold, Bedfordshire.

Dashcam footage of the scene showed Emma stopping as she approached a queue.

Flanagan followed him, making no effort to brake or slow down as he scrolled through the TikTok app.

The court heard Flanagan tried to rescue Emma and Khiana from the rubble – and suffered burns to her face in the process.

Unfortunately, the mother and daughter died at the scene.

In a statement at the time, her family said: “Our family is overcome with sadness and sorrow at the deaths of Emma and Khiana in such tragic circumstances.

“They were both lively, strong and genuine people. Emma was on her way to take Khiana to Bedford Modern School, where she was a bright and popular student.

“Emma and Khiana were as close as only a mother and daughter can be.

“Emma was a devoted mother who has cared for Khiana heart and soul since the sudden death of her husband and father Ed 10 years ago.

“Khiana was a beginning of her life and a beautiful and talented girl.

“We are devastated that they were snatched from us, even though they both still had so much to do.

“We will all miss Emma and Khiana very much, but we are comforted to know that they are reunited as a family.”

Flanagan was jailed at Luton Crown Court today for five years and seven months after admitting to causing the death by dangerous driving.

He was also banned from driving for almost five years.

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew said Flanagan reported a 114 for cocaine in his body – meaning he was two times over the limit.

Flanagan claimed he took the Class A drug on Saturday.

Mr Mulgrew said: “The defendant was interacting with the TikTok app on his phone, which was in a cradle.”

Judge Michael Simon, who handed down the sentence, said: “Almost immediately liquid could be seen pouring from the side of the Peugeot and within seconds the liquid ignited and the car was engulfed in flames, with the conflagration also affecting the car Defendant’s van extended.

“To his credit, the defendant immediately got out of his van and tried to help the driver of the burning car, but the heat was so intense there was nothing he or anyone else could do.”

He added: “Life is precious. The end of a life is always a matter of sadness.

“In this case, this tragedy is compounded not only by the loss of two precious lives, but also by the personal circumstances of the deceased.

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“They themselves had been bereft of their father and husband with the sudden death of Mr Ed Van Der Avoird.”

Defense attorney Alistair MacDonald KC said Flanagan, who had no previous convictions or warnings, had been counseled to deal with flashbacks and PTSD since the incident.


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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