Wirral Council has committed to doing “whatever we need to do over time to help”following a fatal crash on the M53.
It was confirmed a 15-year-old girl and the driver of a school bus were killed after the vehicle overturned near junction five on just after 8am on Friday.
Pupils from Calday Grange and West Kirby Grammar Schools were travelling in convoy when the bus overturned carrying 54 people on board.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital declared a major incident and the North West Ambulance Service said nearly 50 other patients were assessed at the scene. 39 have now been discharged following further assessments.
At a press conference, Simone White, Wirral Council’s children, families and education director said, “I would very much like to start again by offering my sincerest condolences to everybody affected by this tragic incident today.
“Council staff are working closely with the schools and have been doing so since they were informed of the incident this morning. I’m sure everybody will understand that our focus and the focus of the schools is in supporting the pupils, families and wider school community who will all have been affected by this incident.
“As the council, we will continue to work with other local areas and all those who are affected as we wish to provide support and assistance as needed to the families who have been involved in this.
“We are supporting the emergency services and will continue to respond to this incident and will do whatever we need to do over time to help. Again can I stress our deep sadness at the tragic loss and the impact on the families, friends, pupils and schools out there.”
Wirral’s council leader Cllr Paul Stuart said, “This is a heartbreaking day and my deepest condolences go out to those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy.
“Schools are very close-knit communities and I know this will be devastating for all those affected. The council has been providing support and assistance to the schools and families since we were made aware of the incident this morning. We will continue to do whatever we can to help.”
Unison North West called off a strike of critical support workers (CSW) in Wirral. The union said, “Due to a serious traffic incident in the area, many CSWs on the Wirral picket have immediately returned to work to help,
“We dispersed our picket and members are returning home to be on call to help. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this terrible incident.”
Liverpool City Council leader Cllr Liam Robinson offered support from across the River Mersey. He said, “On behalf of the people of Liverpool, I send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who died in the incident on the M53 in Wirral.
“Our thoughts are also with the many others who were injured. Our thanks go to the emergency serices and NHS staff for their swift, ongoing response.”
Specialist support is being provided by Merseyside Police and is working with Wirral Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council to ensure necessary trauma support is in place.
Children on buses driving in convoy with the overturned bus will also be offered support. Police are encouraging people to avoid the area and diversions are in place.