LATEST UPDATE: Family pay tribute to woman killed on M62 in hen party minibus crash

Ambulances queue at the accident scene near Pontefract on the M62 today. Picture sent in on Twitter by Courier reader Pritpal Singh.
Ambulances queue at the accident scene near Pontefract on the M62 today. Picture sent in on Twitter by Courier reader Pritpal Singh.

Police have confirmed that the woman killed after a hen party minibus collided with a lorry on the M62 was 18-year-old-woman Bethany Jones from Pontefract.

Her family paid the following tribute: “Beth was a fun and bubbly girl who was caring and considerate to everyone she met. She was the apple of her grandad’s eye and she will never be forgotten and sadly missed by everyone.”

A second woman remains in intensive care and has been described as “very poorly”.

The tragic event, which saw a total of 21 women injured on the minibus, happened at around 11.30am on Friday morning at J32 on the westbound side of the motorway close to the Xscape leisure park.

The group of woman were believed to be from the South Elmsall area and police have said seven of them were seriously injured.

Air ambulances and emergency services vehicles ferried the injured women to hospitals across the region and local authority staff opened a reception centre nearby and are supporting families.

The driver of the lorry, a local man, has been arrested in connection with the incident and remains in custody.

The motorway re-opened at around 6.30pm on Friday evening and the emergency services paid their thanks to drivers for their patience as they worked to assist casualties following the fatal road traffic collision.

West Yorkshire Police, Fire Fighters, Ambulance and Air Ambulance services, Wakefield Council and the Highways Agency were all hugely involved in the overall multi-agency response.

Assistant Chief Constable Craig Guildford of West Yorkshire Police, said: “I want to pay tribute to the efforts that have been made by colleagues in the emergency services, Highways Agency and Local Authority to what has been a major incident on our motorway network.

“Tragically it has claimed the life of a local woman and our thoughts are with her family as specially trained officer’s work to support them.

“It has unavoidably caused delays for drivers and we have been working as quickly as we can to re-open motorway lanes and help motorists get out of queues.

“I wish to thank them for their patience and for bearing with us an we now near the end of recovery work and look to re-open the remaining two lanes of the westbound carriageway.

“We are appealing for witnesses to this incident and anyone who saw what happened should contact the Major Collision Enquiry Team on 101.

“Anyone who is concerned about a family member or who has witnessed the collision itself is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police on 101 for information.”