A WOMAN who died after her car went into the canal in Stockton Heath has been named as Grappenhall grandma Valerie Pritchard.

 The 72-year-old, who had four grandchildren and one great grandchild, was found by police divers around 5.50pm after her vehicle went into the Manchester Ship Canal at the junction of Egerton Street and Ellesmere Road.

Police, paramedics and fire crews rushed to the incident at 4pm yesterday, Wednesday, but could not save her. 

Two members of the public jumped into the water to help before the emergency services arrived according to witnesses.

Daughter Nicola said: "We want to thank everybody for their courageous efforts to get my mum out of the water and the police officer who came to our house. 

"We heard about the crash on the radio and I couldn't get hold of her on the phone. 

"It was only when I got home and found police outside the house I knew straight away it was my mum but we didn't expect such devastating circumstances."

Grandson Wes Griffiths added: "Grandma Val was an amazing lady.

"She had her own way of doing things and to anyone who knew her it was a privilege to have been in her presence." 

A statement from the family also added: "Our Mum, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother, Valerie Pritchard, aged 72, was tragically taken from us in a road traffic accident on Wednesday the 12th of March.

"She was a lovely lady who always had a full social life, meeting with her many friends for coffee mornings, art class and going to her local club to watch Warrington Wolves with her partner.
"She was also a keen gardener and loved to spend time doing craft work.

"She will be greatly missed by all her family and her partner."

A police spokesman confirmed her death is not believed to be suspicious.

Police are currently trying to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident and anyone with any information is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 622 of 12th March.

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Tributes left along a fence at the site