Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Survivors weep at hen party funeral

Paul and Diane Jones accompanied by boyfriend Nathan Hurcombe leave the funeral of their daughter Beth Jones
Bride to be Stefanie Firth (centre) is comforted as the coffin of Beth Jones, who died in a crash on the M62 as she headed to a hen party, is carried into St Joseph's church in South ElmsalL
Mourners attend the funeral of Beth Jones, who died in a crash on the M62 as she headed to a hen party

Injured friends of a student nurse who died in a minibus crash as they all travelled to a hen party joined hundreds of other mourners for her funeral.

Beth Jones, 18, died in the collision between the bus and a lorry on the M62 near Pontefract in West Yorkshire in April.

Many of Miss Jones's friends who were injured in the crash were in tears as they waited for the cortege to arrive outside St Joseph's Church, in South Elmsall, West Yorkshire. Six of them arrived in wheelchairs and others walked into church with the help of crutches.

Among the mourners was Stefanie Firth, whose forthcoming wedding was being celebrated by the women on the day Miss Jones died.

They were travelling from South Elmsall, between Doncaster and Wakefield, for the hen night in Liverpool. Miss Firth, 24, was among those seriously injured in the crash. Twenty women on the bus were hurt, eight of them seriously.

Mourners lined the streets of South Elmsall as the cortege approached the church. Many of those waiting were wearing pink clothes and sporting pink flowers.

Miss Jones's brother Ryan helped carry the white coffin into the church while her parents, Diane and Paul, led the mourners along with her boyfriend, Nathan Hurcomb.

Diane Jones was also injured in the crash and she walked into the church with the aid of crutches. Miss Jones's sister, Amy, was in a wheelchair. Miss Firth walked into the church still wearing a neck brace, supported by her fiancee Gary Leafe. The pair had been due to get married in the fortnight after the crash.

Tributes in the 90-minute long service were led by Miss Jones's brother, Ryan Jones.

Reading a message from their sister, Amy, he said: "My beautiful baby sister. I can't begin the explain, that I had the most amazing sister in the whole wide world, my best friend forever. I will never forget you. We were the same on the inside and out. Love you always, your big sister."

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