The heartbroken family of a grandmother killed in a car crash has paid tribute to a woman who “touched the hearts of everyone she met”.

Jeannette Dixon, a 76-year-old who lived in Harrow, died at the scene of a car crash in Oxhey Lane, Carpenders Park, on Thursday evening.

The mother-of-four has been described as a “devoted and caring wife, mother and grandmother”.

Her family said: “Jeannette Dixon, aged 76, loving wife of Edgar, leaves four children - Linda, Steven, Hazel and Michael - their families and partners, and her grandchildren.

“She devoted her life to her family and friends. She lived her life caring for others, being a child-minder and foster parent to many children over the years.

“Many enjoyed her wedding and birthday cakes.

“Jeannette committed her time to many charities and voluntary work including Ali's Dream, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Breast Cancer Care, NHS cancer screening and the British Heart Foundation, raising funds each year by opening her own Christmas grotto.

“She touched the hearts of everyone she met and her passing has left much sadness. She was like a rainbow after the rain.”

Oxhey Lane was closed for more than four hours after the crash. People in Carpenders Park were shocked by the accident.

One Wellington Close resident said: “It happened on our doorstep and it is awful.

“Lots of people were asking what had happened and quite a few people went out to have a look. It is devastating. Heartbreaking.

“There were quite a few people from round here who went out and directed traffic. Everyone was really devastated.”

Another said: “To know someone has passed away on our doorstep - it does not get any closer to home than this.

“We were very upset.”

The driver of the other car - a woman in her 30s - is being treated in hospital after the accident. Her injuries are not thought to be serious.

Motorists caught up in the gridlocked traffic jumped out of their vehicles to help and directed oncoming traffic.

One neighbour, whose property backs on to where the accident happened, said: “I heard an extended car horn which abruptly stopped, followed by what sounded like a thump at which point I felt the house shake a little.

“About ten minutes later I heard a lot of emergency vehicles stopping just at the end of my garden.

“I climbed my fence and had a look to see a line of traffic and a number of emergency vehicles.

“About 15 to 20 minutes after, I heard and saw an air ambulance circling over the trees and I assume it landed on a nearby field.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Sergeant Sam Cordingly, of the road policing unit, said: "This is a tragic incident in which a woman has sadly lost her life and our thoughts are with her friends and family at this time.

"I am appealing for anyone who was driving along this road and saw the two vehicles before the collision too place, or anyone who witnessed the actual collision, to please get in touch with us as soon as possible."

People should call 101 with information.