A HEADTEACHER has died in a car crash.

Bradley Nursery School head Claire Lucas died when a Nissan Juke collided with a silver Mercedes Vito van on Friday at 9.40pm on the A59 at Broughton, near Skipton.

Her 'outstanding' Ofsted-rated nursery, in Bradley Road East, Nelson, closed on Monday and released a statement on its website.

It said: "As many of you may know, our headteacher Miss Lucas, has passed away following a car accident.

"Nursery is closed today Monday 27th January but will be open again tomorrow.

"Thank you for your kindness and support during this difficult time."

A male passenger in the Nissan also died.

A woman from the Mercedes van was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the van has been arrested and remains in custody.

Police are appealing 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.

The road was closed for several hours.

Those who knew Claire have paid tribute to her.

Jade Hargreaves said: "Wow what a shock to the system.

"This lady has done so much for me and my family.

"She was a beautiful lady both inside and out.

"The nursery won't be the same."

Kay Maloney said: "Heart breaking, RIP Claire.

"Sending lots of love and strength to your family at this extremely difficult time."

Saniya Raja said: "So sad she was such a lovely women, going to be truly missed."

Leader of Pendle Council, Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, who also represents the school's ward, said: "It is a very sad loss for the community. I met Claire a few times.

"I really feel for her family and everyone at the nursery as well.

"This is devastating for everyone.

"She had been at the nursery for a really long time and was well-respected by a lot of people."

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference number 12200013851.