A heart-broken partner of a woman who died when she collided with a lorry has paid tribute to her on her 60th birthday.

Gloria Russell was supposed to have been enjoying a birthday lunch with partner Malcolm Rowe today, but instead he went to lay flowers at the scene of the fatal crash on Friday morning.

From Friday: Update: Woman dead following lorry collision in Morden

Mr Rowe, 61, who lived with Ms Russell in a flat in Martin Way, Morden, where the collision happened, said: “She was a kind-hearted person; we were going to get married.”

He said Ms Russell had given up work to care for her late mother and father who had cancer and kidney problems respectively.

Ms Russell, who did not have any children of her own, used to work at a factory in Morden before spending her time caring for her elderly parents, he added.

“She liked karate, gardening and helping out in the community,” Mr Rowe said.

She was also an active member of the St John Fisher Church in nearby Cannon Hill Lane.

Aftermath: Damage to walls in Martin Way caused by the collision

Neighbours and members of the public rushed to help Ms Russell when they heard a loud noise at about 6am on Friday morning.

About 11 people gathered to help – some were directing traffic and some were offering assistance to Ms Russell and the lorry driver before emergency services arrived.

Among them was an off-duty police officer who was on his way to work and stopped to direct traffic until his colleagues arrived.

The driver of the white lorry with orange markings stopped at the scene and was spoken to by police but no arrests were made.

One neighbour did not realise anyone was hurt at first when she stepped out of her front door and saw the lorry had smashed into a car and two front garden walls, causing a lot of damage to the bricks.

The neighbour, who lives in Martin Way, said: “I ran in and grabbed a blanket and covered her with it.

“I am a Christian so I put my hand on her arm and said a prayer for her.

“I felt she shouldn’t be on her own.

“I offered the driver some water – I didn’t want him to go into shock.”

Mr Rowe said Ms Russell had been on an early morning trip to the parade of shops in Martin Way to buy cigarettes, lemonade and cat food when the accident happened.

It is believed she was crossing the road when she collided with lorry.

Floral tributes and candles have been tied to a lamppost at the spot where the crash happened on Friday, August 21.

Martin Way was closed for several hours between Cannon Hill Lane and Westcroft Gardens while police carried out an investigation.