SHE was poised to start a new life.
Newly retired and just weeks away from getting married, the future was bright for Gwen Valentine.
But it was all snatched away in seconds when she killed by a hit-and-run driver.
As reported yesterday, Gwen suffered fatal injuries when she was struck by a vehicle as she walked along an isolated road on the Isle of Man.
She was on holiday visiting her son when the tragedy happened last Saturday as she walking Tholt-y-Will road.
Police said she was with her fiancé and son at the time.
Her neighbours in Wavell Way, Stanmore, Winchester, were shocked to hear that Gwen had been killed.
Donna Standen, 34, mother of four, said: “We were expecting her back last Sunday. She had recently retired and she said she was looking forward to going there on holiday.
“It was going to be the first time visiting her son on her own, before she had always gone with her other kids.
“She was very nice, she used to chat to my kids in the garden. So of course it is a shock.”
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “She was a very nice person. I used to say hello to her and have a chat. You don’t expect this.”
Her family released a statement through the police.
It said: “Gwen was preparing for her wedding in June, had been retired for just over a week and her first grandchild was not yet a year old. She was taken in the prime of her life, and all who knew her loved her for her zest for life, humour, fearlessness and compassion. She will be sorely missed.”
A 30-year-old man has been charged has been charged with a number of offences including causing death by dangerous driving.
A second man has been arrested and bailed pending further inquiries.
The coroner has been informed and an inquest is likely to be opened next week.