A Birmingham family are in mourning after a mum, dad and their four children were killed in an M6 fireball horror crash.
David Statham, his wife Michelle and their three sons and daughter were on their way back to Llandudno in North Wales after visiting relatives in Birmingham.
The couple, originally from the city, were returning home after taking the children, Reece, 13, Jay, nine, Mason, 20 months and Ellouise, 10 weeks, to see their grandparents.
Their people carrier exploded and turned into a fireball after it was sandwiched between two lorries as it sat in a traffic jam caused by an earlier accident on the M6 on Monday night in Cheshire. Mr Statham, aged 38, his 33-year-old wife and their children all died instantly.
Police said that both Mr and Mrs Statham’s parents lived in Birmingham.
Mr Statham worked as a chef at St David’s College, an independent boarding school in Llandudno.His wife was on maternity leave from her job with Beresford Adams estate agents in the town.
A cousin of the family, Karen Mcmillan, paid tribute to her relatives on the memorial website Gone Too Soon.
She said: “Words cannot say how we feel to have lost six of our family so cruelly. We are all devastated and our hearts go out to auntie Ange and Irene and family. You made a good life for your family Dave and our only solace is that you are all still together.
“All of our love to you all Karen, Tracey, Daryl, Beverley and Alison and all our families xxxxxx.”
Mrs Statham’s brother, Alex Hagans, aged 20, wrote on his Facebook web page: “RIP Michelle, David, Reece, Jay, Mason and Elouise. We all can’t believe this happened.”
Friends posted messages of support on the page. One wrote: “Hi Alex, I am so sorry to hear what has happened, send my love to your mum, dad and Angela for me and let me know if there is anything I can do. They will always be in my heart and thoughts xxxx.”
Friends Kelly and Shawn Pugh wrote on Gone Too Soon: “I can’t believe what has happened to you all.
“I know we have not been in touch for some time, but the fond memories of our late teenage years will never be forgotten!”
People in Llandudno who knew them spoke of their shock.
Neighbour Dawn Jones, aged 32, who lived across the road from their large terraced house, described the family as “lovely”.
“It’s unbelievable this has happened, it’s really shocking”, she said.
Reece and Jay’s karate instructor, Bev Prendergast, said: “They loved those kids. I feel devastated. She worked in an estate agents and was our mortgage adviser.
“They always wanted a girl and finally had one after three boys.”
A 46-year-old Portuguese lorry driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.