UK

Online memorial page set up for teenager killed in M53 school bus crash

An online memorial page has been set up for Jessica Baker, 15, who was killed in a school coach crash (Merseyside Police/PA)
An online memorial page has been set up for Jessica Baker, 15, who was killed in a school coach crash (Merseyside Police/PA) An online memorial page has been set up for Jessica Baker, 15, who was killed in a school coach crash (Merseyside Police/PA)

An online memorial page has been set up by the family of a teenage girl who died when her school coach crashed on a motorway.

Jessica Baker, 15, and coach driver Stephen Shrimpton, 40, were killed as the vehicle overturned on the M53 near junction five at Hooton, Cheshire, on September 29.

In a tribute issued after the collision, Jessica’s family said the talented climber was a “warm-hearted, wonderful daughter, granddaughter and niece, devoted sister and loyal friend”.

The West Kirby Grammar School pupil had taken part in climbing competitions across the UK as she represented the North West and Wales.

In a statement issued on Monday, her family said: “Jessica loved all sports and chose GCSE PE as one of her options, but her overriding passion was for both indoor and outdoor climbing.

“Despite being a teenager, Jessica was able to communicate with everyone she came into contact with regardless of their age. She was often seen offering support to fellow climbers on how to achieve a problem/route they were trying to complete.

“Jessica was planning to explore a career in sport in some way and was due to begin her coaching qualifications later this year towards this goal.”

They added their thanks for the “very kind comments and offers of support” they had received at “this extremely difficult time”.

An online MuchLoved page has been set up to allow people to share their pictures, videos and thoughts of Jessica for the family to keep.

Donations in her memory to charity Climbers Against Cancer can also be made at https://jessicabaker.muchloved.com/

A total of 58 children were involved in the incident and four needed hospital treatment, including a 14-year-old boy whose injuries were said to be “life-changing”.

Detective Sergeant Andy Roper, of Merseyside Police’s serious collision investigation unit, said: “Our thoughts remain not only with Jessica’s family but the bus driver Stephen Shrimpton’s family.

“My team and I have held a meeting with the families of the other 57 children involved and they are being supported and updated on the progress of the investigation. On behalf of those families, I would like to thank those people who stopped and helped in the immediate aftermath of this tragic incident.

“A police investigation into this incident is ongoing which will be submitted to the coroner ahead of an inquest early next year. If you have any new information please continue to let our officers know.”

Anyone with information about the collision should call the Matrix Serious Collision Investigation Unit on (0151) 777 5747 or SCIU@merseyside.police.uk or contact @MerPolCC on Twitter or Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook quoting reference 23000944471.