Woman killed in M62 hen party crash named as Bethany Jones

 

Tributes were flooding in today for a teenager killed in a horrific motorway crash involving a minibus taking a group of women to a hen party.

Bethany Jones, 18, was killed and eight women seriously injured when their vehicle collided with a lorry on the M62, near Pontefract, West Yorkshire, on Friday morning, police said.

In total 21 women were injured including the bride-to-be, named in reports as Stefanie Firth, after the group set out from nearby South Elmsall to travel to Liverpool.

The driver of the lorry was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been released on bail, West Yorkshire Police said.

Of the eight women critically injured, one is in intensive care while seven are described as being in a "serious but stable" condition, a force spokesman said.

The crash, which happened at about 11.30am, left the minibus on its side across a carriageway and luggage strewn across the motorway.

Six air ambulances were called to the scene, close to junction 32 on the westbound carriageway, and four took casualties to nearby hospitals.

Firefighters called the crash "the worst they had seen in a number of years", Dave Walton, assistant chief fire officer at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said.

Tributes and messages of support flooded on to Facebook today.

One of the group, Ashleigh Warner, had expressed her excitement about the planned hen party just hours earlier on the social networking site.

She wrote on her Facebook page: "Jumping on the Liverpool status bandwagon ......... Cos I'm sooooooo excited had my tshirt on since 8 this morning:))) hope Stefanie Firth has the best time xxxx"

Holly Jackson wrote on Ms Jones' Facebook page: "RIP Beth hope ur family are holding up. Xx"

Alexandra Wood wrote on Ms Warner's Facebook page: "Get well soon ash, thinking of you and your family xxx"

Emma Simon wrote: "Thinking of you all Ash, hope you all make a quick recovery xx"

Emma Long added: "We hope your ok, thinking of you and everyone else involved at this sad and difficult time."

South Elmsall resident Doreen Gray, 70, described seeing the group of women get onto the minibus near the town's bus station half an hour before the collision.

"They were all wearing pink, that's what caught my eye. They were all in great spirits so it's devastating to hear what has happened," she told the Pontefract and Castleford Express.

One patient, a woman in her 40s, suffered suspected serious chest injuries and was anaesthetised before being transported, while another was airlifted to hospital also with chest injuries.

Police said an off-duty officer was the first person to report the accident and stayed at the scene to help, while members of the public also helped to give first aid.

Dr David Macklin, from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said that crews were faced with "a very difficult scene with multiple seriously injured people", but he praised their "excellent and professional response".

Chartered accountant Pritpal Singh, 28, from Leeds, was travelling back to his office on the M62 westbound when the accident happened.

He said by 2.30pm everyone going in the same direction as the crash had got out of their cars and started walking around on the road.

"I was about a third of a mile back from where the accident was, I got out and walked up to the scene," he said.

"I could see a minibus which was on its side. It had quite a severe amount of damage on the right hand side.

"The lorry which had collided with it was on the main motorway."

Jon Trickett, MP for nearby Hemsworth, tweeted his condolences, saying: "My heart goes out to all in the M62 accident, their friends and family. What should have been a weekend of fun & laughter now a tragedy."

Police have urged anyone who is concerned about a family member or who witnessed the crash to contact them on 101.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Barnardo's: Corporate Audit and Inspection – Retail Intern (Leeds)

Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work: Barnardo's: Purpose ...

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Receptionist

£15000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future