SWINDON residents Ben Elliman and Tracy Walters died within one week of each other after separate motorway collisions in the Midlands last week, with a third local person still fighting for their life.

Ben, a 19-year-old university student from Lawn, was killed when his Ford Focus collided with the back of an Asda lorry.

The teenager was driving southbound on the M6 near to Junction 10 in Walsall shortly before 6.30am on Sunday, March 16, when the collision happened.

Tracy Walters, 48, of Nythe, died at University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire on Sunday, two days after a single-vehicle collision on the M1.

Shortly after 12.40pm last Friday, Tracy was inside a black Mitsubishi L200 Animal 4x4 when it left the southbound carriageway between Junctions 22 and 21A near Leicester and collided with a tree.

She and a male passenger in his 50s, believed to be her husband Ian, were taken to the hospital, where he is in a serious but stable condition.

The family of Ben have paid tribute to their son and brother.

His family said: “Ben was a dearly loved son and brother who will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He was a caring, thoughtful person and we ask you to respect our privacy at this difficult time. Thank you.”

Collision investigators are looking into the circumstances of the crash which left the southbound section of the M6 between Junctions 10a and 9 closed for almost five hours.

Sergeant Neil Higgins is leading the investigation. He said: “This is a significant collision which has sadly cost a life and our thoughts are with those affected. If we’re to fully understand what happened and to provide answers for Ben’s family, I need anyone who may have seen the incident and who has not yet spoken to officers to call West Midlands Police on 101.”

The 54-year-old driver of the lorry, a man from the Erdington area of Birmingham, was left badly shaken by the incident and with minor injuries.

Officers from East Midlands serious collision investigation unit are appealing for witnesses to the collision involving Tracy and her husband.

Detective Constable Kath Orr is investigating the collision. She said: “I would urge anyone who was travelling along the M1 motorway at about 12.40pm on Friday (March 21) and may have seen the Mitsubishi before the collision to contact me.

“If you were travelling along this road and haven’t yet spoken to police officers we need to speak to you. If you witnessed any part of the collision then please come forward.”