A FITZWILLIAM woman has died after a motorway collision in Essex on Saturday.
Delia Walker, 63, of Central Avenue, was killed after a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) was in collision with the coach she was travelling in on the M11 at around 2.20am.
The lorry driver, 53-year-old Zdzislaw Piorko, from Maidstone, also died.
Firefighters from several stations within the Essex county worked alongside police and ambulance crews to free Mrs Walker, who was trapped at the rear of the coach, but they were unable to save her.
Mr Piorko was trapped in the HGV, which had landed on its side down an embankment.
The coach, which was badly damaged at the side and rear, was upright on the hard shoulder.
The Express understands that Mrs Walker, who was known as Dee Dee, was a mother and grandmother.
A former neighbour, Sara Collins Westhead, paid tribute to Mrs Walker on the Express Facebook page.
She said: “I really cannot believe it. I lived opposite Dee Dee for two years and she was a ray of sunshine on Central Avenue.
“Always a kind word, always keeping her eye out for the youngsters on the street, including my own two. We sadly said goodbye last year when we returned to Bermuda but I’m heartbroken to hear the news - our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
The coach, which was carrying 49 passengers, is believed to have been travelling on a one-day shopping trip to Belgium. The passengers were mostly from the Castleford and Wakefield areas.
Four others were taken to hospital by ambulance while 45 people were transported to hospital by minibus as a precaution.
A spokeswoman for Featherstone-based coach operators, Ross Travel Group, said: “Ross Travel Group would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mrs Delia Walker and also the lorry driver’s family.
“This accident has had a devastating effect on the families concerned and also the staff at Ross Travel who know many of its passengers personally.
“The company has endeavoured to contact all passengers concerned either by phone or personally to check on their wellbeing and will continue to liaise with the police and all parties.”
Police and fire investigators are continuing to investigate the circumstances leading up to the crash.
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