Former Strictly judge and current Britain’s Got Talent star Alesha Dixon has been left distraught after her 30-year-old brother suffered a serious car accident over the weekend, which killed one of his closest friends.
Her young brother, John Lonergan, was a passenger in a Ford Ka. John was driving with a friend who, devastatingly, died in the accident which took place in Welwyn, Hertfordshire.
Driver James Bartell was killed instantly after the car ran off of the road and into some trees. But reportedly, Alesha’s brother is said to be in hospital in a stable condition.
A source close to the star, who is 38, said, “She is sick with worry about her brother John. He is badly injured but is lucky to be alive.”
And discussing his injuries, they revealed “He has several broken ribs and a broken collar bone.”
“Although he will hopefully make a full recovery, he will have to come to terms with the death of his friend. It’s expected he will be in hospital for some time.”
Alesha herself has not yet commented on the accident, but is said to be very close to her younger brother.
The accident took place in the area in which the pair were born and grew up, and which John has continued to call home.
(Alesha, right, and her brother, left)
Speaking about the horrific accident, a family friend told The Sun, “It is just so tragic. It was a straight road so it’s baffling how they crashed.
“I don’t know if something ran out on to the road and they had to swerve. We just don’t know. The car somehow lost control.
“It was an open road and it was day time, so it’s just puzzling. They were good friends, they would spend a lot of time together. John is devastated.”
James, who was a delivery man, was just 29, and leaves behind his 32-year-old girlfriend and young son and daughter.
Hertfordshire Police are currently investigating the tragic incident, with investigating officer PC Jackie Lister urging for any potential witnesses to come forward.
She added: “I am conscious that many drivers these days have dash cams fitted to their vehicles and may have captured the vehicle being driven immediately prior to the collision. If anyone has footage, this may prove useful to the investigation.
“Please contact me on Hertfordshire Constabulary’s non-emergency number 101 so that I can review it.”
Alesha rose to fame with the band Mis-teeq, but was most recently seen appearing as a judge on the recent series of Britain’s Got Talent alongside David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell.
(Alesha at the Strictly launch in 2011)
She also carried out the role of a judge on Strictly Come Dancing for three years from 2009, after winning the show as a contestant back in 2007.