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Girl, 12, dies in M61 motorway crash in Bolton

M61 Image copyright Google
Image caption The crash happened near the Rivington services on the M61

Two people have been arrested over the death of a 12-year-old girl in a motorway crash.

Sana Patel, from Blackburn, died at the scene of the two-car collision on the M61 in Lancashire on Saturday. Police said one of the drivers fled on foot.

The child was a passenger in a Nissan Qashqai which crashed with a Vauxhall Corsa between junction eight and Bolton West/Rivington services.

A 23-year-old woman and a man, 28, have been released under investigation.

Lancashire Police said the woman from Mirfield, West Yorkshire, and the man, from Dewsbury were held on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. The man was also detained on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

The force said five other people in the Qashqai suffered minor injuries, while those in the Corsa fled the scene.

Det Supt Andy Cribbin said: "This was a tragic incident in which 12-year-old Sana Patel lost her life and our thoughts are very much with her family and friends at this unimaginably difficult time.

"We have now made two arrests but are very much still trying to establish what happened and are asking anybody who saw the collision or either vehicle in the moments before it happened to get in touch as soon as possible."

'Always smiling'

Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School in Blackburn, where Sana was a pupil, said emotional support would be available for students and staff.

A spokesman said: "We will remember Sana as a really friendly and cheeky girl who was always smiling and had a real zest for life and fun.

"She lit up the lives of so many around her and had so much to look forward to.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Sana and her family during this very distressing and difficult time."

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