NHS nurses killed in car crash visiting Grand Canyon on dream holiday

Grieving colleagues have paid tribute to two “much loved” NHS nurses killed in a car crash while on holiday.

Tatiana Brandão and Raquel Moreira had spent years planning the once-in-a-lifetime trip across the United States and had shared photos from their travels before the ill-fated road trip on 27 January.

The friends, who both worked at University Hospital Southampton, were visiting the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, when the fatal collision occurred.

The pair are said to have been killed instantly when their vehicle smashed into a bus.

Ms Brandão, 30, and Ms Moreira, 28, were declared dead at the scene, while Ms Brandão’s mother-in-law and partner were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

A video posted to social media by Ms Moreira in the days leading up to the crash showed the pair smiling and laughing as they travelled across California.

In a statement shared on Friday, Ms Brandão and Ms Moreira’s NHS co-workers paid tribute to them.

Gail Byrne, chief nursing officer at University Hospital Southampton, said: “The entire nursing family at University Hospital Southampton has been left shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of two much-loved colleagues as they enjoyed a holiday together in America.

“Tatiana, 30, joined the Trust seven years ago and was a highly respected member of the neurology department.

“Raquel, 28, had worked at UHS for the past five years and was a very valued part of the stroke ACP team. Both had chosen to move from Portugal to join UHS and had bright careers ahead of them.

“The friends were well-known for their kindness, empathy and enthusiasm.

“Both were passionate about nursing and providing the very best care for our patients. Outside of work they shared a love for new experiences, adventure and living life to the fullest.

“I know I speak on behalf of the entire UHS workforce in saying they will be sorely missed. We send our love and condolences to their families at this very sad time.”

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