A 14-year-old schoolgirl and a coach driver have died after a bus of schoolchildren overturned on the M53 this morning, Merseyside Police have confirmed.

Emergency services attended the scene on the M53 in Hooton following a collision involving a bus on the motorway just after 8am this morning.
The bus was carrying pupils from Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School.


During a press conference this afternoon, Merseyside Police have confirmed that a 14-year-old schoolgirl and the driver of the bus have died.

Chief Superintendent Graeme Robson said: "Emergency services (Police, Fire and Ambulance) were called to reports of an overturned bus on the M53 at 8.03am this morning.

"We can confirm that the bus was a school bus that was taking pupils to West Kirby and Calday Grammar Schools on the Wirral.

"Two children were removed from the scene to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

"50 other children were taken to an Emergency Training Centre where they were medically assessed and eight of those 50 children have been taken to the Countess of Chester and Arrowe Park Hospitals.

"Our thoughts and condolences are very much with their families and friends at this tragic time.

"Family Liaison Officers are providing specialist support to both families and we are working with both schools and Wirral and Cheshire West Councils to ensure the necessary trauma support is in place for the children on the bus.

"We also know that other children from both schools were on buses travelling in convoy with the bus involved in the incident and witnessed the incident. They too will be provided with appropriate trauma support.

"The motorway is expected to be closed for a number of hours whilst investigative work is carried out and we would like to thank motorists for their patience whilst the investigation is ongoing.

"Diversions are in place and, where possible, take alternative routes.

"I would also like to remind people that there is an investigation underway and would ask people to refrain from posting anything on social media that could hamper that investigation and not to speculate."

The M53 is expected to be closed for a "number of hours" whilst investigations are carried out after the incident.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) later declared major incidents, although Alder Hey later de-escalated.

North West Ambulance Service comment

Joanne Clague NWAS Area Director for Cheshire and Merseyside said: "Firstly, I would like to pass on our condolences to all those involved in this incident.

"Following reports of a crash involving a coach this morning, we declared a major incident. This was due to the potential number of casualties involved. As a result, we sent a substantial number of ambulances, senior clinicians and our Hazardous Area Response Teams. A critical care doctor was also dispatched to the scene.

"Tragically, we can confirm that there were two fatalities as a result of the crash.  Two patients were taken to Alder Hey with serious injuries. In addition, we have also taken a number of patients to surrounding hospitals to be treated for minor injuries.   

"I would like to thank our emergency service colleagues for their support in ensuring the scene was safe so we were able to identify the most seriously injured first whilst safeguarding all those involved in the incident.  

"Again, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those affected."

'Wirral Council will work with other local areas to support those affected'

Simone White, Director for Children, Families and Education, Wirral Council said: "On behalf of Wirral Council I offer my sincerest condolences to everyone affected by this tragic incident today.

"Council staff are working closely with the schools since being made aware of the incident this morning.

"As everyone will understand, the focus for the schools and ourselves at the moment is on supporting their pupils, the families and the wider school community.

"In the meantime, Wirral will work with other local areas to support those affected, providing whatever support and assistance that may be needed, in addition to supporting the emergency services in their response to this incident - we will continue to do whatever we can to help."