M58 crash: Parents' tribute to 'superhero' son Joe Cairns

Joe Cairns Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Joe Cairns was "a true superhero" with "a heart of gold", his parents said

A school pupil killed in a seven-vehicle motorway crash was "a true superhero", his parents have said.

Joe Cairns, 14, from Radcliffe in Greater Manchester, and 50-year-old Anne Kerr died when an HGV and a school minibus crashed on the M58 on Tuesday.

The teenager's parents, Steph and Andy Cairns, said their son had a "heart of gold" and "an amazing sense of humour and infectious smile".

Three people remain in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption School transport assistant Anne Kerr was killed in the crash

Joe was a pupil at Pontville School for students with special educational needs in Ormskirk, Lancashire.

In a statement, Mr and Mrs Cairns said: "Joe, my brave boy, a true fighter with a heart of gold. An amazing sense of humour and infectious smile, a true superhero."

Head teacher Justine Sims said he was "bright, articulate and observant" and "a ray of sunshine and laughter for all at Pontville School".

"It is really hard to describe Joe in just a few sentences. A lovely young boy with the most amazing sense of humour, Joe is in our hearts and minds forever."

She said "our hearts are filled with sadness" and "our thoughts" are with the minibus driver and pupils who remain in hospital.

Ms Kerr's family said she was a "much loved" mum "to two lovely boys" and will be "deeply missed by all her friends and family" who are "all heartbroken".

A woman in her 90s and two men were also seriously hurt in a second crash on the same stretch of road 90 minutes later but have now been discharged from hospital.

The HGV driver, a 31-year-old man from Chorley, who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, has since been released while inquiries continue.

Image copyright SpottedVOSA and Fuzzy
Image caption The crash happened between junctions 3 and 4 of the M58 in Lancashire

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