‘Warm hearted and loyal’ – family’s tribute to West Kirby Grammar School pupil


The family of 15-year-old Jessica Baker, the West Kirby Grammar School student who died following a road traffic collision on the M53, have paid tribute to her.

She was killed when a bus she was travelling in to school on Friday morning is reported to have hit a reservation and overturned.

The driver, 40-year-old Stephen Shrimpton, also lost his life in the incident, which happened near to junction 5 at around 8am.

In a statement issued today, the Baker family said: “Jessica was a warm hearted wonderful daughter, granddaughter and niece, devoted sister and loyal friend

“A talented climber, based at the Boardroom climbing centre Academy where she helped coach younger climbers and competed around the country inspiring others.

“At the age of 15, just starting year 11 at West Kirby Grammer School where her focus was not just on academic work but also sports representing the school at many events.

“Her untimely death has led to a massive void in our lives that will never be filled.

“She will be missed by many from not only school but also the climbing community across the country.”

West Kirby Grammar School head, Simeon Clarke, has also paid tribute.

He said: “It is hard to find the words to describe the tragic loss of one of our students, Jessica Baker.

“Our thoughts – and I know the thoughts of the wider school community – are with Jessica’s family and friends at this unimaginably sad and difficult time. 

“Unequivocally kind and empathetic, Jessica was a dedicated friend who was a well-liked and respected member of our school community.

“She was an unassuming, polite and conscientious student who exemplified the values of our school.

“Jessica was also a keen sportswoman, representing her House and the school in numerous competitions, and demonstrating an unwavering love of – and commitment to – rock climbing, where she had previously represented Wales in national competitions.

“Jessica will be greatly and sadly missed by her friends, teammates, classmates, and all at West Kirby Grammar School who had the pleasure and privilege to encounter her.”

An investigation into this incident is ongoing and police are still appealing for witnesses and dash-cam footage.

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