RELATIVES have paid tribute to a 25-year-old woman who died on her way home after a family party.
Julie Faye Johnson, of Walton, Stone, suffered fatal injuries in the collision which happened on Eccleshall Road in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The blue Peugeot 206 she was driving crashed into a gate post and wall of a property near the bridge over the M6 motorway.
Emergency crews were called but Julie, of Churchill Road, was pronounced dead at the scene. It is believed her dog also perished in the crash.
An investigation is now underway and police are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the vehicle beforehand.
Julie's aunt Kathleen Berwick, of Stafford, said she saw her niece at the family party on Friday night. The bash at The Red Lion Pub, in Derrington, was a surprise party to celebrate Julie's brother Dean's 30th birthday.
Mrs Berwick, of Oxleathers Court, said: "Julie came and everything was fine. I didn't know anything had happened until the next morning. The dog was in the car too.
"Julie was such a lovely person. When she came into a room it lit up. She had lots of friends. Everybody loved her."
Floral tributes have been left at the crash site, along with a wooden cross covered in emotional messages.
Mrs Berwick said the cross – with a plaque in the name of Peter Johnson attached – marked the grave of Julie's grandfather before it was replaced with a permanent stone.
One tribute written on the cross called Julie 'the most wonderful daughter in the world', while another said: "Brightest star in the sky, you were one of kind Julie."
One message attached to flowers said: "Julie & Sudz. Heaven has gained two angels too soon."
Another said: "A thousand times we needed you, a thousand times we cried.
"If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died. God broke our hearts to prove he only took the best."
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said crews were called to the scene just before 3.40am.
Sergeant Richard Moors, from Staffordshire Police's collision investigation unit, said the force was keen to hear from witnesses.
He added: "While the incident occurred in the early hours of the morning there may be witnesses who were in the area at the time and I would urge anyone with information about the collision to come forward.
"Specially-trained family liaison officers are working with the relatives and our thoughts are with the family at this distressing time."
Anyone with information should contact Sgt Moors or PC Andy Talbot at on the non-emergency number 101 quoting incident 145 of November 30.