Fire crews aid Beth fund

Castleford firefighters raised money in a rowing challenge for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Beth Angels . (P512A331)
Castleford firefighters raised money in a rowing challenge for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Beth Angels . (P512A331)

Firefighters at Castleford Fire Station have helped swell the coffers of the M62 crash fund Beth’s Angels with a mammoth rowing challenge.

Members of white watch aimed to row 145km – the distance from South Elmsall to Liverpool – to raise money for the fund, which is helping the victims of the crash, along with Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Bethany Jones, 18, of South Elmsall, died in the crash, and 20 other passengers, including her mum Diane and sister Amy, 25, were injured, when the minibus they were travelling in on a hen party to Liverpool was in collision with a lorry on the M62 at Pontefract.

Castleford white watch were first on the scene after the accident, on April 26, which inspired them to raise cash for Beth’s Angels.

The fundraiser took place at Xscape, with firefighters taking 2,000m stints on three rowing machines to reach their target.

Debra Haskell, of Castleford Fire Station, said: “They ended up rowing there and back and a bit besides – they reached 300km.

“The majority of the rowers were from Castleford, but we also had some from Normanton and South Elmsall, along with some off-duty firefighters and the district commander.”

The event, organised by watch commanders Dave Smith ahd Granville Shaw, raised £900 each for Beth’s Angels and Yorkshire Air Ambulance, with a further £150 going to the Firefighters’ Charity.

Around ten of the women who survived the crash came along to see the cash handed over.

Debra added: “They were really happy and really pleased about it. They are just very grateful that people are coming together and doing things like this for them.

“White watch was the first response to the crash, so they got there first. They were overwhelmed by how brave the girls were and wanted to give something back.”

Bethany was killed instantly in the crash, while all 20 passengers, including bride-to-be Stefanie Firth received serious injuries. All have now been discharged from hospital, but most are still recovering fromtheir injuries.

The drivers of the minibus and the lorry driver were both arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following the M62 crash.

They both remain on bail while police inquiries continue.