Family pay tribute to Burnley motorway tragedy teen

The family of a teenager killed on the M65 have paid tribute to their “very loving” daughter.

Lena Begum, of Higher Reedley, died after being hit by a van on the motorway in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The 18-year-old, who was studying to be a dental nurse at Blackburn College, was believed to have been walking along the eastbound carriageway at the time.

A statement from the family said: “Lena was very much loved by all her family, and was a very loving daughter.

“She was studying as a dental nurse at Blackburn College. Her hobbies included going to the cinema with her uncle and brothers.

“Lena was her mother’s only daughter and she is especially devastated.

“Her passing will leave a big hole in the family. She will be deeply missed. Her family are terribly shocked and would respect privacy at this difficult time.”

Tributes have also been flooding in on Facebook for the former Sir John Thursby Community College pupil describing her as a “beautiful angel”.

Police said the teenager was hit by a white sprinter van at around 4am between junctions 9 and 10 of the M65.

The driver, a 48-year-old Burnley man, was treated for shock at the scene.

Officers are still trying to establish what the woman was doing walking along the motorway near Rosegrove where she died.

An appeal for witnesses is still on-going. Sgt Tracey Ward said: “Although it was in the early hours of the morning, there may have been people driving on the motorway who may have witnessed what happened or spotted the woman.”

Anyone with information can contact the Road Policing Unit on 101.