York school worker dies after A19 crash: Tributes to ‘bright, beautiful and hugely caring person’

27 Jan 2021 @ 1.09 pm
| News

A woman has died following the collision between her car and a bus on the A19 yesterday (Tuesday).

Today, she was identified as Saskia Bets, 27, a much-loved member of a York special school’s wellbeing team.

Saskia was a behaviour and wellbeing mentor at Hob Moor Oaks Academy, in Acomb. She was a valued member of a team who supported all children across the school.

“I remember distinctly the first time I met Saskia,” said Gail Brown, chief executive at Ebor Academy Trust, which runs the school.

“Her smile radiated the room and even from initial conversations you could tell she had a warm, empathetic and caring character which was perfect for her role.

“Her abilities, even from someone so young, were not only admired and respected within the Hob Moor Federation of Schools but also within the wider Ebor wellbeing team.

“Her colleagues and children at school will miss her dearly and I send my heartfelt condolences to her family at such a difficult time.”

Saskia lived in Easingwold and started work at Hob Moor Oaks in November 2019.

‘Still too shocked’

Hob Moor Oaks Academy in Acomb. Photograph © Google Street View

Olivia Hargreaves, head of school at Hob Moor Oaks, and the school’s wellbeing team, paid this heart-felt tribute.

“Saskia was a bright, beautiful and hugely caring person and a valued and respected member of our closely-knit team.

“She brought unique skills to our school community, children and families and a great strength to our team, that at the moment we are still too shocked to understand how much we will miss.

“We loved to listen to her talk about her renovations; while we were resting up, Saskia would be tiling roofs and knocking walls out, following YouTube tutorials on how to renovate your home by hand.

“Saskia’s work was driven by her high energy, sense of fun and passion to understand children and what she could bring to enrich not only their learning but, most importantly, their wellbeing and happiness.

“She was hardworking, intelligent and the brightest spark in our office daily and gave her heart and soul to everything. Her care, love and desire to ensure children reach their potential was at the forefront of her mind every day.

“She generously shared her skills and knowledge with class teams across both our schools and, more recently, trust-wide. Her recent project had been to design, creative and deliver sensory stories for all the children with additional needs, who are currently shielding or remote learning.

Saskia: Generous and strong

“The joy and laughter from filming will never be forgotten by those involved. Another example of her generosity was the money she raised towards the children’s residential by making Christmas masks.

“Her discreet support, quiet strength and confidence empowered everyone around her, and for a person so young was an incredible gift. She came to school every day positive, smiling and ready for any challenge.

“She thrived in giving her best to all the children at Hob Moor Federation, she was a huge credit to her parents and Sam, her partner, and our hearts go out to her family and her loved ones.”

Tricia Ellison, chair of Ebor Academy Trust, said: “All at the Trust are desperately saddened to hear of Saskia’s death following a road traffic accident.

“Sadness is exacerbated by her youth, a sense of how much living she still had to do and how much more she had to contribute professionally to the very special children she worked with as part of the wellbeing team at Hob Moor Oaks in York.

“Our sincerest sympathy and thoughts are with her family and friends, facing so devastating and sudden a loss. Saskia was much loved by her colleagues and will be deeply missed by them and by the children and families she worked with.”

Police appeal

The collision took place on the A19 near Hawkhils. Photograph © Google Street View

We reported yesterday how the collision involved a cream Volvo bus and black Audi A1 shortly before 7.20am.

The bus was not carrying any passengers. Its driver was treated for minor injuries in hospital and later released.

Police are trying to trace a cyclist who was thought to be in the area at the time to come forward.

Anyone with any information is asked to dial 101, press 1 and pass information to the force control room, quoting number NYP-26022021-0049.