Autism school 'devastated' after staff members killed in minibus crash

Two people who died in a motorway crash involving a minibus and a lorry worked at an autism school and were returning after taking three young people to a work placement, it has emerged.

The school, Prior's Court, said it was "devastated" by Thursday's tragic crash on the M4 in Berkshire.

It said the two staff members died at the scene as three more, including the driver, suffered serious injuries.

The young adults with severe autism were taken to hospital for assessment and treatment but were not seriously hurt.

"I speak on behalf of us all at Prior's Court when I say we are devastated about the road traffic collision which happened today," said Mike Robinson, the school's chief executive.

"I send my deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the two people who lost their lives.

"At this time, there are three further staff members receiving treatment and my thoughts are very much with them and their families.

"In such tragic circumstances, we are grateful that all the young people involved are safe and without serious injuries, and we will be doing everything we can to safeguard their well-being at hospital and upon their return."

The accident happened at about 12.20pm when there was a collision between a heavy goods vehicle and the minibus.

The M4 was closed in both directions so air ambulances could attend the scene. The lorry driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The road was closed between junction 14 at Hungerford and junction 13 at Chieveley for nine hours as officers investigated.

Thames Valley Police have appealed for witnesses - or anyone with dashcam footage - to come forward.