school bus driver who died
Stephen Shrimpton. Image: Merseyside Police

A school bus driver who died when it overturned on a motorway has been named as Stephen Shrimpton

In a heart-wrenching incident that sent shockwaves through the community, a school bus overturned on the M53 motorway on the Wirral, leading to the tragic loss of two lives, as reported by Sky News on Saturday, 30 September 2023. The bus driver, Stephen Shrimpton, aged 40, and 15-year-old student Jessica Baker, both perished in the accident, leaving their families and the entire community in mourning.

Stephen Shrimpton, described by his family as a “loving husband and father,” was remembered as a caring and thoughtful man who always prioritized the well-being of others above his own. His untimely passing has left a void in the lives of his loved ones, who requested privacy during this devastating time.

Sky News reported that, in a touching gesture, Stephen’s sister-in-law, Emily, initiated a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for his funeral expenses. The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming, with donations quickly surpassing the initial £6,000 target. This remarkable response serves as a testament to the compassion and unity of the community in times of tragedy.

Tragically, Jessica Baker, a 15-year-old student, also lost her life in the bus crash. Her young life, filled with potential and promise, was cut short in a moment of sheer misfortune. The impact of her absence reverberates not only within her family but also among her peers and teachers at school. Her passing serves as a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing each moment.

Post-mortem examinations are scheduled for the coming week to determine the exact causes of Stephen Shrimpton and Jessica Baker’s deaths. These examinations will shed light on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident and provide some closure to the grieving families.

Detective Sergeant Andy Roper, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, expressed the police’s commitment to supporting the families affected by this tragedy. He also appealed to potential witnesses, urging anyone with information or dashcam footage of the incident to come forward. Even the smallest detail could prove crucial to the ongoing investigation.

The bus, carrying 58 people, had been transporting students from two Merseyside schools—Calday Grange all-boys grammar school and West Kirby all-girls grammar school. The accident occurred on the northbound M53 motorway between Junction 5 at Hooton and Junction 4 at Bebington. It is reported that there were other buses traveling in convoy with the one that crashed, and police have assured that all those involved will be offered trauma support. Family liaison officers are also providing support to the relatives of the victims.

The tragic incident highlights the importance of safety measures on school buses and the need for continued vigilance in ensuring the well-being of students during their daily commute to school. The entire community, as well as the nation, is grappling with the profound impact of this accident, which serves as a stark reminder of the need for caution and diligence on the roads.

As the investigations continue and the families mourn their loved ones, the community remains united in support, coming together to provide solace and assistance in this time of great sorrow. Stephen Shrimpton and Jessica Baker will be remembered not only as victims of a tragic accident but as individuals whose lives touched the hearts of many, leaving an indelible mark on their community.

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