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Friday 23 February, 2024
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Jessica Baker died alongside driver after school coach overturned

BY Anas Shah Oct 01, 2023. 11:27 pm UPDATED: Oct 01, 2023. 11:27 pm

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HEARTBREAKING tributes for the 15-year-old teenager murdered in the M53 coach collision have poured in.

Jessica Baker and bus driver Stephen Shrimpton were killed when their vehicle overturned in Wirral around 8.30 a.m. on Friday.

Simeon Clarke, headteacher of West Kirby Grammar School, said Jessica was “unequivocally kind and empathetic” and will be “greatly and sadly missed.”

Jessica’s family remembered her lovely and loyal nature in a memorial released by Merseyside Police.

“Jessica was a warm-hearted, wonderful daughter, granddaughter and niece, devoted sister and loyal friend,” they said.

“A talented climber, based at the Boardroom Climbing centre academy where she helped coach younger climbers and competed around the country inspiring others.

“At the age of 15, just starting Year 11 at West Kirby Grammar School, where her focus was not just on academic work but also sports, representing the school at many events.

“Her untimely death has led to a massive void in our lives that will never be filled.

“She will be missed by many, from not only school but also the climbing community across the country.”

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The tributes come after Mr Shrimpton’s sister-in-law Emily Church said on a GoFundMe appeal that he suffered a “medical issue” while behind the wheel.

“I’m raising some funds for my brother-in-law’s funeral,” the page read.

“He tragically died in an accident on the M53 on the morning of the 29th of September, after suffering medical issues at the wheel while driving students to school.”

“He’s sadly left behind my sister who’s now a widow in her early thirties, and unfortunately a single mum along side his much loved two young children who are only 8 and 4, who are going to grow up without their beloved father.

“Any donations to this unexpected circumstance would be much appreciated to give Stephen a funeral he deserves.”

According to Mail Online, students caught up in the turmoil were forced to crawl out of the vehicle’s windows to escape the damage.

Witnesses claim seeing schoolchildren running from the bus’s damaged back glass, while their traumatized classmates aboard a second bus stood by in fear.

According to a paramedic who responded to the incident, one girl who was crying in the aftermath stated the crash was “very scary” and that she “thought she was going to die.”

He told MailOnline: “She was crying her eyes out. She was in shock and said it was horrible and very scary. I think some of the older kids helped her out.

“She said she thought she was going to die in the bus.”

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He added: “The bus was a mess. The children were in shock. It’s going to take a long time for them to get over, what they’ve seen.”

Shocking photos show broken glass, debris and school bags strewn around the bus wreckage.

Student Jessica was the sole other person besides the driver to die in the crash.

A total of 58 people were involved in the incident with 52 attending the emergency services training centre.

In a statement, Merseyside Police confirmed a bus had struck a reservation near Junction 5 and overturned.

Four other people were brought to the hospital, including a 14-year-old boy who was critically hurt.

Thirteen people were injured in minor ways.

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