Grieving father pays poignant tribute to 'loving' Pendle couple killed in tragic crash

Mark Gregson and Claire Lucas
Mark Gregson and Claire Lucas

The heartbroken father of a Pendle man who was killed in a A59 car crash alongside his partner has paid tribute to his beloved son.

Mark Trevor Gregson (52), and Claire Louise Lucas (43), from Kelbrook, died after their Nissan Juke was involved in a crash on the A59 at Broughton, near Skipton, with a Mercedes Vito van at around 9-40am on Friday, January 24th.

Father-of-two Mark, who had been driving, and passenger Ms Lucas, were both pronounced dead at the scene. A 28-year-old man, who had been driving the Mercedes van, has been arrested and released under investigation. His passenger, a 28-year-old woman, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Mark's father, Trevor Gregson says the family has been left "devastated and in complete shock" by their "bolt from the blue" deaths.

"We are struggling, said the 75-year-old. "The news came as a huge shock and it's absolutely devastating. Mark was a much-loved son, brother, partner and father to two daughters. Mark was popular and well-liked by his friends and work colleagues and had a great sense of humour. He never said a bad word about anyone. He loved football and music and spending time with his family. It's equally devastating for Claire as she had young children. She was such a nice girl and so full of life. Mark and Claire had been together four years and were very loving and happy together and shared the same interests. They really enjoyed attending music concerts. Everyone in the family was happy to see them happy, but now our lives have been left shattered."

Born and brought up in Foulridge, Mark attended Park High School in Colne. Described as a "clever lad", on leaving school he had various different jobs and worked his way up to management at Dunbia, near Clitheroe. For the past four years he had worked at dairy company Arla, in Settle.

Ms Lucas was a headteacher at Bradley Nursery School in Nelson. After her death, the school's chair of governors, Sue Nike, said: "Claire will be greatly missed. She was such a well-loved and inspirational headteacher. All our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this very sad time.”

Trevor, who lives with his partner Margaret, McLean, in Foulridge, said the loss of Mark and Claire has been difficult to take, but the families have been "overwhelmed" by the support received from the community.The support and kindness shown by friends and wellwishers has been overwhelming. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone for their messages of support and condolences, but also to the police in the handling of the devastating situation. Mark and Claire were well-loved by everyone who had the pleasure to know them."

Margaret added: "It's difficult to accept Mark and Claire are no longer here with us. We are totally heartbroken and their deaths have left a huge void in our lives. Mark will be deeply missed by his daughters, Trevor, his brother Richard, Claire’s children and myself."

Police are continuing to appeal for any witnesses who may have seen either of the vehicles prior to the collision, or were on the A59 at the time and may have dashcam footage, to contact North Yorkshire Police. Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference number 12200013851.

Alternatively, you can e-mail MCIT@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk