The bus driver who died in a horror car crash in Merseyside has been named as a father of two whose family claim "suffered medical issues behind the wheel” before the crash.
Stephen Shrimpton, described by his family as a “loving husband and father”, was driving a bus of more than 50 schoolchildren when it hit a reservation on the M53 near Junction 5 and flipped over.
One of the pupils on board, 15-year-old Jessica Baker, was also killed. A boy aged 14 suffered life-changing injuries, while several others were taken to hospital. Four other children were taken to hospital for treatment.
Eyewitnesses have described how injured children climbed through windows of the bus to escape from the wreckage.
The bus had been taking pupils to the all boys Calday Grange Grammar School and the all-girls West Kirby Grammar School when it crashed.
The crash happened just after junction 5, heading towards Liverpool, and closed a junction of the motorway. The road is reopened today.
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Police appeal for witnesses and dashcam footage
Merseyside Police is appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage from drivers near the incident.
The section of the M53 was closed after the crash on Friday but has since reopened.
Anyone with information about the crash should call the Matrix Serious Collision Investigation Unit on (0151) 777 5747 or SCIU@merseyside.police.uk, or contact @MerPolCC on X (formerly known as Twitter) or Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook quoting reference 23000944471.
Recap: Watch as police chief’s voice breaks confirming dead in horror crash
A Merseyside Police boss was visibly emotional as he delivered a press conference confirming the death of two people in a school bus crash on the M53 on Friday.
Chief Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “Sadly, I can confirm that the driver and a 14-year-old schoolgirl have died.
“Two children were taken from the scene to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. 50 other children were taken to an emergency training centre where they were medically assessed. Eight have been taken to the Countess of Chester and Arrowe Park Hospital.”
Mr Robson added: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends at this tragic time.”
He confirmed all children who witnessed the crash will be given specialist trauma support.
Lucy Leeson reports:
A Merseyside Police boss was visibly emotional as he delivered a press conference confirming the death of two people in a school bus crash on the M53 on Friday. Chief Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “Sadly, I can confirm that the driver and a 14-year-old schoolgirl have died. “Two children were taken from the scene to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. 50 other children were taken to an emergency training centre where they were medically assessed. Eight have been taken to the Countess of Chester and Arrowe Park Hospital.” Mr Robson added: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends at this tragic time.” He confirmed all children who witnessed the crash will be given specialist trauma support.
£12,000 raised for ‘loving husband and father’
More than £12,000 has been raised in less than a day to help cover the funeral costs of Stephen Shrimpton, the driver who was killed when his bus crashed in Merseyside yesterday morning.
A Gofundmepage was set up by his sister in law Emily Church, who described Mr Shrimpton as a “loving husband and father”. Nearly a thousand donations have been made since the campaign was set up on Friday evening.
“I’m so sorry for your very sad loss,” one donor wrote on the page. “My thoughts and prayers are with dear Stephen’s wife, children and all of his beloved family at this very difficult time. RIP dearest soul”.
A mother shares tribute to 15-year-old victim
The 15-year-old killed in the crash was named as Jessica Baker.
One mother shared a tribute on Facebook, she said: “Our hearts go out to the families of the teenage girl ,Jessica Baker who died in a crash on the M53 yesterday morning on the way to school,my daughter is a friend of Jessica’s sister.”
Girl, 15, who died in M53 school bus crash named
The teenage girl who died after a school coach crashed on the M53 motorway has been named by police as Jessica Baker.
Emergency services were called shortly after 8am on Friday to reports that a coach had overturned on the northbound M53 near junction five at Hooton, Cheshire.
A total of 58 people were involved in the incident and the 15-year-old and a bus driver died.
Four children were taken to hospital and a 14-year-old boy whose injuries are said to be life-changing is among the injured.
Others were treated at an emergency training centre, with 13 treated for minor injuries before they were released.
Jessica Baker’s family requested privacy as they issued a photograph of her through police.
ICYMI - Heroic NHS workers abandoned strike to help
NHS workers abandoned their strike to be available to help the injured, Unison North West said.
“We dispersed our picket and members are returning home to be on-call to help,” the union posted on social media.
Long tailbacks built up on the motorway, which was then closed for hours after the crash, causing heavy traffic in other areas.
Merseyside Police said a total of 58 people were involved in the incident including the two fatalities. Some 50 children were taken to a casualty centre in Wallasey, and of those, 39 were discharged, while the rest were taken to hospital for treatment.
What area was affected by the crash?
A mother of school pupils shares gratitude to the school
A mother of two girls who attend the same school as the 15-year-old killed in the accident expressed her thanks to West Kirby Grammar school.
The mother shared on Facebook: “Following the tragic accident today, WKGS staff and pupils have been so strong, supportive and compassionate with all students and their families.
“Thank you for the amazing pastoral care with our two girls and all pupils. Thinking of everyone directly and indirectly involved.”
ICYMI - The police press conference
The police appealed for witnesses of the crash after a coach overturned on the M53 near junction five at Hooton, Cheshire at around 8am on Friday morning.