'Beloved' bus driver who died in M53 crash remembered as 'loving husband and father’

Driver Stephen Shrimpton died after a school bus crashed and overturned on Friday, Pablo Taylor reports

A school bus driver who died following a crash on the M53 has been named.

Stephen Shrimpton, 40, was at the wheel of the bus, which was carrying 58 people when it overturned between J4 and J5 near Hooton, on the Wirral, shortly after 8am on Friday.

The incident involved pupils from Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School for Girls.

Schoolgirl Jessica Baker, 15, was also killed.

Helicopter footage shows the aftermath of the crash

In a tribute issued today, his family said: "Stephen sadly passed away in a traffic accident.

"Stephen was a loving husband and father to his wife and his wonderful children, a caring and thoughtful man who would always prioritise others over himself.

"Stephen will be sadly missed by all his friends and family."

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Stephen's family to raise money for his funeral.

Organiser Emily Church - who wrote in the fundraiser's description that she's Stephen's sister-in-law - says he suffered "medical issues at the wheel".

Paying tribute to him, she writes: "He’s sadly left behind my sister who's now a widow in her early 30s, and unfortunately a single mum alongside his much loved two young children who are only eight and four, 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."

Schoolgirl Jessica Baker, 15, was also killed. Credit: PA

Post mortems will be carried out next week to establish the causes of death.The other casualties who were taken to hospital for treatment to injuries are all in stable conditions.

An investigation into this incident is ongoing and police are still appealing for witnesses and dash-cam footage.

Detective Sergeant Andy Roper, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "The thoughts of everyone at Merseyside Police remain with those who were affected by the tragic incident yesterday.

"The families of Stephen and Jessica are being supported by specially trained officers and we are working with both schools and Wirral and Cheshire West Councils to ensure the necessary trauma support is in place for the children who were affected."

Police held a press conference on Friday to provide an update on the crash

He continued: "We continue to investigate the circumstances of this incident and we are appealing for anyone who witnessed this incident or have any information to please let us know.

"We also urge those who were driving near the incident to check your dashcam footage. Any information no matter how small could help the investigation.

"Motorists are also advised that the section of the M53 that was closed following the incident yesterday has now reopened."

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to 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.

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