The family of a mother-of-two killed in a multi-vehicle motorway crash have said they are “heartbroken”.
Anne Kerr, 50, from Southport, and a 14-year-old boy died in the collision close to junction three of the M58 westbound at Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, on Tuesday.
The staff member and pupil at a special educational needs school were travelling in a minibus which was involved in a collision with an HGV and a number of other vehicles at about 9am.
The driver of the HGV, a 31-year-old-man from Chorley, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has since been released under investigation pending further inquiries.
In a tribute to Mrs Kerr, her family said: “Anne was much loved by all who knew her. She will be deeply missed by all her friends and family.
“She was a daughter, wife, and mum to two lovely boys. She was a lovely personality to be around. Her death has left us all heartbroken.”
Mrs Kerr was a staff member at Pontville School, a special educational needs school in Ormskirk, Lancashire.
The teenager who died in the collision attended the school.
In a statement, the school’s headteacher, Justine Sims, said: “We are deeply shocked to learn of the terrible accident that took place yesterday involving a minibus carrying a number of our young people and staff.
“It is with the deepest sadness that we can confirm that one young person and one member of staff on board the minibus have died and the remaining four have been taken to hospital.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families of the deceased at this sad time. Our overriding priority is to provide help and support to classmates, colleagues and families of those involved in the accident as best we can.”
The headteacher added: “Our hearts are filled with sadness as we grieve the tragic loss of Anne Kerr. Anne was a caring member of staff who went out of her way to support the young people at Pontville.
“We have been inundated with condolence wishes from our families and pupils, including those involved in the incident. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Anne’s family.”
A number of other people suffered serious injuries in the incident and continue to be treated at hospital, said Lancashire Police.
A second collision took place at around 10.10am in the queuing traffic involving an HGV, a van and two cars.
A woman and two men suffered serious injuries in that collision. They remain at Aintree Hospital receiving treatment.
Sergeant Steve Wignall, of Lancashire Police, said: “Our thoughts remain with the families of everyone affected by the tragic incidents yesterday. We have specially trained officers supporting them at this very sad and difficult time.
“We need anyone who saw either of the collisions but hasn’t spoken with us already to come forward. You may have vital information to assist our investigation.”
Anyone with information can call 101 quoting log number 275 of Tuesday January 8.