Driver of school bus which crashed on motorway died from natural causes

The driver of a school bus which crashed on a motorway died from natural causes, a coroner’s office has said.

Stephen Shrimpton, 40, died when the coach he was driving crashed on the northbound M53 in Wirral, Merseyside, on September 29 last year as he was taking children to West Kirby and Calday Grange grammar schools.

Jessica Baker, 15, one of about 50 students onboard, was killed in the crash just after 8am.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for Liverpool Coroner’s Office said Mr Shrimpton’s case had been closed as it was found to be a natural cause of death.

No more details on his cause of death were released.

At the time, the coroner said further medical examinations would be needed to establish Mr Shrimpton’s cause of death, with focus on the examination of the condition of his heart.

In a statement released after the crash, Mr Shrimpton’s family said: “Stephen was a loving husband and father to his wife and his wonderful children, a caring and thoughtful man who would always prioritise others over himself.”

An inquest for Jessica will be held at a later date, with a review hearing scheduled for July, the coroner’s office spokeswoman said.

The inquest opening heard the teenager, from Chester, was partially ejected from the vehicle and suffered instantaneous fatal head injuries.

After the crash, four other children were taken to hospital, including a 14-year-old boy whose injuries are said to be “life-changing”, according to Merseyside Police.

Others were handled at an emergency training centre, with 13 treated for minor injuries before they were released.

Following her death, Jessica’s family paid tribute to the talented climber, who they described as a “warm-hearted, wonderful daughter, granddaughter and niece, devoted sister and loyal friend”.

More than £6,500 was raised through an online fundraising site for Climbers Against Cancer in her memory.

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