Birmingham & Black Country

Tributes paid to Bloxwich crash victim, Natasha Whale, 13

Tributes at Valley Road crash site
Image caption Floral tributes have been left at the site of the crash in Valley Road

Tributes have been paid to a girl killed in a crash involving a school coach and a car in the West Midlands.

Friends said they were "devastated" by the death of 13-year-old Nathasha Whale.

The schoolgirl was in a Renault Clio with her mother and brother when it crashed in Valley Road in Bloxwich on Monday.

Her mother, Shelley, is still in a "critical condition".

Her brother, Callum, 17, has been released from hospital, police said.

Floral tributes have been left at the scene of the collision.

Friends have also paid tribute to Natasha from Pelsall, on a Facebook page created in her memory.

A spokeswoman for Walsall Academy, where Natasha was a pupil, said students and staff were "devastated" by the news.

"Natasha was a model student who loved performing arts and sport. She was popular with staff and students alike and will be sadly missed," she said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time."

Valley Road was closed for five hours while crash investigators examined the route and police carried out house-to house inquiries.

Officers also studied CCTV pictures of the accident.

'Road re-examined'

Insp Paul Bennett, from West Midlands Police, said: "We're working hard to understand what led to the collision.

"I would urge anyone who was in the area at the time and who has not yet spoken to us to contact my officers as a matter of urgency."

Image caption Valley Road was closed for five hours while crash investigators carried out inquiries

People living in the street said a petition had been started last year calling for local speed restrictions.

They followed an incident in September when a bus crashed into the garden of a house, knocking down a wall.

Beverly Whitehouse, 45, who lives on Valley Road said: "A lot of people did sign the petition but nothing has been done, no stop signs or slow down signs.

"We always feared that somebody would get killed at that junction and I hope the council take note because it really is upsetting."

The leader of Walsall Council, Mike Bird, said the authority would look at what changes could be made to the road.

He said: "The criteria for altering roads is strictly controlled by government legislation but we have to look at local issues.

"This is certainly flagged up in my mind that this needs to be re-examined as to whether there is any safety issue here that we can improve."

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