Tributes to Higher Reedley girl (18) killed on M65

A teenage student was killed after she walked on to the M65 motorway in Burnley in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Traffic chaos on the M65.
Photo Ben Parsons
Traffic chaos on the M65. Photo Ben Parsons

Lena Begum (18), of Higher Reedley, was hit by a van on the motorway and died.

Police are trying to establish what the former Sir John Thursby Community College pupil was doing on the eastbound carriageway where she lost her life.

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

The 48-year-old Burnley driver was treated for shock.

The tragedy caused rush hour traffic chaos as the carriageway was closed off for six hours while police carried out investigations.

The teen’s death happened near the spot in Rosegrove where Harrison Hartley (14) was knocked down and killed in 2007.

Sgt Tracey Ward appealed for witnesses, saying: “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.”

Tributes flooded in for the tragic teenager on Facebook describing her as a “beautiful angel”.


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An “R.I.P Lena Sheikh” page saw more than 1,000 people join to leave heartfelt messages.

Jolina McConnell wrote: “R.I.P Lena! Geography bud back in the school days, will be missed by many. You’re in a better place now.”

Anisah Ahmed said: “So young, she had a future and so much to look forward to I’m sure. Best ones go first.”