A COMMUNITY fundraising campaign to help victims of the M62 hen party minibus crash which killed a trainee nurse has come to an end after reaching more than £40,000.
The Beth’s Angels fund was set up following the death of 18-year-old Bethany Jones in the tragic incident near junction 32 of the M62 on April 26.
Bethany, of South Elmsall, near Pontefract, was killed and 20 women were injured – 12 seriously – in the incident.
The fund was launched by Beth’s cousin Mark Larkin in a bid to help the injured women meet their financial commitments while they recovered from serious injuries.
Eight months later, the fund has reached £43,330 after groups, businesses and residents from across the South Elmsall area and beyond pulled together to help with a string of fundraising events and activities.
Mr Larkin, who runs the Barnsley Oak pub in South Elmsall, kickstarted the fund with £1,000 from the pub’s takings.
Staff at the pub have also donated their tips throughout the year.
Mr Larkin said: “£40,000 has been shared between all the girls. A lot of them spent time in hospital or had a long recovery period when they couldn’t work.
“The money has helped them keep up with their mortgages and pay the bills they couldn’t pay. The rest of the money in the account will be given to the air ambulance, along with any further money that comes in.
“Beth’s mum and dad have been going along to a lot of the fundraising events and they need closure, time to grieve now, which is why we have decided to end the fund at this time.
“I started the fund off after I got back from the hospital following the crash and just felt useless. I needed to do something to help. It has been absolutely unbelievable.
“I never thought it would escalate this much.”
Mr Larkin added: “On behalf of myself and all of Beth’s family and the girls we would like to say a massive thank you to anyone and everyone who has helped for what they have done.
“It has helped us to see how much Beth meant to so many.”
A total of 21 women were on the bus which had been travelling from South Elmsall to a hen party in Liverpool when it was in collision with a lorry.
Among those seriously injured were bride-to-be Stefanie Firth, Bethany’s sister Amy and her mother Diane.