21 in hen party hurt in fatal crash

Bethany Jones. Photo / Supplied
Bethany Jones. Photo / Supplied

A British teenager was killed when a hen party's minibus collided with a truck and the bride-to-be is believed to be seriously injured in hospital.

Bethany Jones, 18, was killed and eight women were seriously injured in the crash on the M62 near Pontefract, West Yorkshire, on Friday night.

The bride-to-be, named locally as Stefanie Firth, is understood to be in intensive care with serious spinal injuries. In total 21 women were injured after the group set out from South Elmsall for Liverpool.

The dead university student's family said: "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 is sadly missed by everyone."

The driver of the truck was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and had been released on bail, West Yorkshire police said.

Of the eight women critically injured, one is in intensive care while seven are described as in a "serious but stable" condition, a force spokesman said.

The crash left the minibus on its side across a carriageway and luggage strewn across the motorway. Six air ambulances were called to the scene and four took casualties to nearby hospitals.

Firefighters called the crash "the worst they had seen in a number of years", said Dave Walton, assistant chief fire officer at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Police said an off-duty officer was the first person to report the accident and stayed to help, while members of the public also helped to give first aid.

Accountant Pritpal Singh, 28, from Leeds, said the minibus was on its side and was severely damaged.

South Elmsall resident Doreen Gray, 70, described seeing the group of women get on to the minibus near the town's bus station half an hour before the collision.

"They were all wearing pink, that's what caught my eye. They were all in great spirits so it's devastating to hear what has happened," she told the Pontefract and Castleford Express.

Friends of Jones, who is believed to have been in her first year at Leeds University where she was studying to be a nurse, put tributes on Facebook. Holly Jackson wrote: "RIP Beth hope ur family are holding up. Xx"

Other friends said that she had been a talented singer and dancer at school.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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