FUNERAL arrangements have been confirmed for 15-year-old school pupil Jessica Baker, who sadly died in a bus crash on the M53 motorway.

At around 8am on Friday, September 29, a school bus overturned after crashing into a reservation on the northbound section near Junction 5 at Hooton. Both Jessica, from Chester, and the 40-year-old driver, Steven Shrimpton, from Ellesmere Port, died in the incident.

Merseyside Police has since released a statement on behalf of Jessica’s family who described her as “talented and dedicated”.

On a 'MuchLoved' tribute page specially set up for Jessica, where people can share their memories and photos of the keen climber, details of her funeral have also been posted.

Jessica's funeral will take place on Friday, October 27 at 12.30pm at St Theresa's Catholic Church in Blacon, followed by committal at Blacon Crematorium.

In Jessica's memory, the family are raising money towards Climbers Against Cancer, a charity the family say was close to Jessica's heart. More than £1,700 has been raised on the MuchLoved page.

People can donate at, as well as add tributes and light virtual candles for Jessica.

Merseyside Police released a tribute yesterday on behalf of the family which read: "The family of 15-year-old Jessica Baker who sadly died following a road traffic collision on the M53 in Wirral on Friday 29th September would like to thank everyone for their very kind comments and offers of support during this extremely difficult time.

“Jessica was a talented and dedicated climber who competed over the last seven years of her life across the UK representing both the North West and Wales.

“Jessica loved all sports and chose GCSE PE as one of her options, but her overriding passion was for both indoor and outdoor climbing.

“Despite being a teenager, Jessica was able to communicate with everyone she came into contact with regardless of their age. She was often seen offering support to fellow climbers on how to achieve a problem/route they were trying to complete.

“Jessica was planning to explore a career in sport in some way and was due to begin her coaching qualifications later this year towards this goal."

A tribute fundraiser has also been held for the driver of the coach, Stephen Shrimpton, at Little Sutton Royal British Legion Club.

Last Friday saw a fundraising night held at the club featuring a number of musical acts, a raffle and auction, with the £1,676 proceeds going to Stephen's family.

Detective Sergeant Andy Roper, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Our thoughts remain not only with Jessica’s family but the bus driver Stephen Shrimpton’s family who also passed away and are being supported by specially trained police officers.

“My team and I have held a meeting with the families of the other 57 children involved and they are being supported and updated on the progress of the investigation. On behalf of those families, I would like to thank those people who stopped and helped in the immediate aftermath of this tragic incident.

“A police investigation into this incident is ongoing which will be submitted to the coroner ahead of an inquest early next year. If you have any new information please continue to let our officers know.”

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call the Matrix Serious Collision Investigation Unit on (0151) 777 5747 or or contact @MerPolCC on Twitter or Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook, quoting reference 23000944471.