Mum died in road rage attack as she tried to strap toddler into her car

A mother of two died after she was hit by a car and slammed into a Belisha beacon after a row over parking while she was attempting to strap her six-month-old daughter into her car.

Christie McHugh, 33, became embroiled in a row with another female motorist, according to witnesses.

She was parked next to the other woman in the car park of the Lord Kitchener pub on East Barnet Road in North London, with her five-year-old son, Max, in the car.

Locals claimed that she could not get her baby daughter Lisa into her car because the other woman's vehicle was too close.

She allegedly asked the other woman to move her car but when she refused they began arguing.

According to friends, Christie got out of her car to remonstrate with the woman. They said she stood at the entrance of the car park to prevent the other car leaving but the woman drove out anyway, knocking Christie on to her bonnet and carrying her into the road.

She was carried for around 20 yards out of the car park and onto the main road, where she fell off the bonnet and struck her head on a Belisha beacon at a zebra crossing.

The incident took place in front of dozens of horrified witnesses including the victim's husband John, who works as a local builder.

Christie suffered head injuries and was confirmed dead at the scene by paramedics from the London ambulance service.

The incident ocurred during the Monday evening rush hour opposite a Sainsbury's supermarket in Barnet.

A short time after the incident police arrested a woman in connection with the death. She was bailed pending further inquiries until a date in April.

Last night, floral tributes and cards had been laid at the scene and dozens of devastated friends and family congregated to pay tribute to the devoted mother.

Estelle Dutton, 40, of Barnet, said the mother doted on her children and had just returned to work after the birth of her youngest child.

"It is just such a tragedy, we just can't accept this has happened - everyone is just devastated," she said.

"Everybody has an angel and she was ours. She was just lovely. Everybody loved her. She was such an amazing woman and an even more amazing mother.

"She would do anything for her children and she just doted on them."

She added: "She had such a warm heart. Her kids and her family were her life. She was so devoted to them. She helped everyone. Nothing was too much trouble.

"We just can't believe she has gone. She has got two young children. How could this happen?"

A post-mortem examination is due to take place today. Officers from the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command are leading the investigation and are appealing for witnesses to the incident to come forward.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "At this early stage it appears she was a driver involved in a dispute with another woman driver. She left her vehicle and an incident occurred during which she was injured.

"Early inquiries indicate that she was carried on the bonnet of the other car and fell from the bonnet and was in collision with a Belisha beacon.

"The vehicle drove away. Police subsequently attended an address in Barnet and arrested a woman in connection with the inquiry.

"She was taken to a north west London police station and was subsequently bailed pending further enquiries to a date in late April."