Special constable killed by motorway lorry 'a great loss to the force'


The death of a female special constable in a motorway collision is "a great loss to the force", said the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester.

Samantha Derbyshire, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident at junction 5 of the M61 near Bolton in the early hours of Monday after being hit by an HGV.

It is thought the Ford Fiesta she was travelling in had hit the central reservation and she got out to inspect the damage when it became stuck.

Ms Derbyshire was based in Bolton and had been recently been accepted to join GMP as a full-time constable later this year.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said "she will sadly not get the chance to fulfil her dream", while Chief Inspector Mike Walmsley, of GMP's Special Constabulary, said her colleagues were "devastated".

In a statement, her family said: "'Sam was our fun-loving, beautiful, amazing daughter, sister, granddaughter and niece. She was also such a funny, clever and amazing friend but also a fantastic, enthusiastic special constable, which she worked so hard to achieve.

"She was a very social person and enjoyed keeping fit. She had just completed the Great Manchester Run.

"Sam was a special constable for Greater Manchester Police. She was so proud of this and loved it. She had recently been informed that she had passed her entry tests and had been accepted to join GMP as a constable later this year. She was so looking forward to this. It is all she has ever wanted to do.

"We as a family are devastated by what has happened to Sam and couldn't be any more proud of her. She was better than all of us and lived her life to the full every day. We will miss her greatly."

Mr Hopkins said: "First and foremost, my heartfelt condolences are with Samantha's family at this deeply distressing time and we are doing all we can to support them.

"Not only was Samantha a serving member of police staff but she dedicated her own time to helping others as a special constable in Bolton.

"She had also recently been successful in her application to become a police officer and this morning's tragic incident means she will sadly not get the chance to fulfil her dream.

"To be taken from her family and friends at such a young age is terrible and a great loss to the force; she will be greatly missed."

Mr Walmsley said: "All of Sam's colleagues are devastated by the loss of such a happy, dedicated and positive member of the Bolton team and GMP Special Constabulary.

"Sam was passionate about working in the police and making a real difference in the communities she loved to serve.

"Sam was both highly respected and liked by all who were fortunate enough to work with her. She made her first arrest only hours into her first tour of duty and has impressed since. Sam will be greatly missed by all of us who knew her."

Anybody with information about the collision, which took place at about 3.30am, should contact the GMP Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4742.

: A male motorist was killed in a seven-vehicle crash on the M62 near Rochdale shortly after 9.30am on Monday.