Heartbroken family holds funeral for 15-year-old Jessica Baker who died in coach crash on her way to school

27 October 2023, 14:04 | Updated: 27 October 2023, 14:12

Jessica's funeral has been held in Chester
Jessica's funeral has been held in Chester. Picture: Alamy/Handout

By Chris Chambers

Relatives of 15-year-old Jessica Baker laid her to rest at a funeral in Chester on Friday after their beloved daughter was killed in a coach crash on her way to school on Merseyside.

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Mourners arrived for the service at St Theresa's Catholic Church in Blacon, Chester, wearing black, with some carrying flowers.

Her family walked behind the hearse carrying her coffin and floral tributes as it arrived at the church.

The church was full for the ceremony, with a video link to the school next door for those who could not fit in.

The front of the order of service showed a graphic of a climber, in memory of Jessica, who represented the North West and Wales in climbing competitions across the UK.

Jessica Baker lost her life, along with the driver, Stephen Shrimpton, 40, after he suffered a medical episode behind the wheel as the school bus took pupils along the M53 towards West Kirby Grammar and Calday Grammar schools on September 29th.

Read more: Driver suffered 'event' at wheel before bus crash on M53 which killed him and 15-year-old schoolgirl

Jessica was killed in the coach crash
Jessica was killed in the coach crash. Picture: Family handout

An inquest earlier this month heard Jessica, a pupil at West Kirby Grammar, suffered "instantaneous" death from "catastrophic" injuries.

Andre Rebello, senior coroner for Liverpool and the Wirral, said CCTV footage from inside the coach showed the driver, Mr Shrimpton, slump to his left while driving the coach, which at the same time left the carriageway and went up an embankment before ending up on its side.

Mr Rebello said: "At approximately 8.03am the road traffic incident occurred and the coach, travelling north bound, collided with the embankment on the nearside and the coach came down on its side, causing fatal injury, life-changing injury and serious injury and lots of minor injuries.

Mr Rebello said it was "miraculous" no one else was killed as he gave brief details of the incident during the opening and adjourning of the inquests into the deaths of Jessica and Mr Shrimpton at Liverpool Coroner's Court.

Jessica was laid to rest
Jessica was laid to rest. Picture: Alamy

Jessica's school, West Kirby Grammar, has now created a memorial garden in her memory.

In a statement, they said: "At the age of 15, she was just starting Year 11 at West Kirby Grammar School where her focus was not just on academic work but also sports representing the school at many events.

"Her untimely death has led to a massive void in our lives that will never be filled. She will be missed by many from not only school but also the climbing community across the country."

A full inquest will be heard on March 20 next year.

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