A heartbroken family have paid tribute to a mum who tragically died following a car crash near Dorchester.

Hannah Richardson, 43, from Stratton, was a passenger in a car driven by husband Stuart which was involved in a collision on the A352 at Whitcombe on Monday morning.

She suffered life threatening injuries and was treated at the scene by medics before being taken to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester where she sadly died.

Mrs Richardson was involved in village life and served as a parish councillor and also led a local Rainbows group.

Mr Richardson, 43, who had been driving a red Honda Civic, suffered serious but not life threatening injuries and was also taken to Dorset County Hospital where he remains.

In a statement, the family of Mr and Mrs Richardson said: "We have taken the brave decision to name Hannah, who sadly died as a result of her injuries despite the best efforts of medical staff at the scene and at Dorset County Hospital.

"Her husband Stuart sustained serious injuries and continues to receive treatment and recover at Dorset County Hospital."

The statement added: "Hannah was a wonderful daughter, wife, sister and mother to a beautiful 11-year-old girl.

"We are understandably devastated at losing her and wish to thank everyone for all the support we have received.

"We wish to focus on supporting Stuart and their daughter and would request complete privacy at this difficult time."

Chairman of Stratton Parish Council Andy Aylott said: "Hannah has been involved in parish council for the past two or three years and heavily involved with several social activities which go on throughout the village.

"This has come as a great shock to everybody. She was well respected and will be sorely missed by many.

"At the moment the village is very quiet as people hear about the news."

Dorset Police said the collision involving a red Honda Civic and a silver Peugeot 206 happened at around 6.25am on Monday.

The driver of the Peugeot, a man from the Dorchester area, suffered chest, leg and arm injuries.

The road was closed for nearly seven hours on Monday whilst emergency services dealt with the incident and collision investigators examined the scene.

Two fire crews from Dorchester attended to assist with the collision as both cars were smoking and cut a casualty free from the car.

Mrs Richardson’s death is the latest in a series of fatal crashes to have taken place on Dorset roads in the last few months.

A total of seven people have died in crashes in the past seven weeks.

Police continue to appeal for witnesses to the Whitcombe crash. Call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 16:52.