The family of a special constable who died after a collision on the motorway has paid tribute to her.
At around 3.30am this morning, police were called to junction 5 of the M61 motorway to reports of a collision between a pedestrian and a HGV.
Officers attended and found a woman - formally identified as 23-year-old Samantha Derbyshire - who was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
It is believed that Samantha was travelling in a Ford Fiesta when she was involved in a minor collision with the central reservation, rendering the car unmovable.
She got out of the car to check the damage, and was involved in a collision with an HGV.
Paying tribute to her, Samantha’s 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.”
Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable Ian 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.”
Chief Inspector Mike Walmsley of GMP’s Special Constabulary 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 should contact the GMP Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4742.