A SCHOOLBOY killed in a motorway crash “could light up the room with his smile”, his mother has said.

Steph Cairns gave an emotional tribute at Preston Crown Court to son, Joe, 14, from Radcliffe, who died in a crash on the M58 motorway in Lancashire last January after the minibus he was travelling in was hit from behind by a HGV.

The lorry driver, James Majury, 33, earlier this year admitted causing Joe’s death by dangerous driving and also the death of school support worker Anne Kerr, 50.

Majury has been jailed today, Friday, for eight years and 10 months.

Mrs Cairns said Joe, who had autism, had a “wicked sense of humour”.

She said: “I sit for hours sometimes and lie in bed unable to sleep just thinking about him.

"I think about him laughing because it was so infectious and made me smile, it made everybody smile. Joe could light up the room with his smile.

"I just want to walk into a room and see him sitting there and hear him say ‘Mum’ one more time.

“I haven’t yet got any feelings towards the driver despite the fact he’s taken my child away.

To an extent he’s taken my other children’s mum away because I know I’m not the same anymore and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again without Joe in my life.

“The driver is insignificant even now I know exactly what he did that day.

"His actions were so selfish and utterly mindless.

"I don’t want to focus on him but I do want to see his face and for him to see mine so he can see my hurt.

"The hurt I feel when on Mother’s Day my boy isn’t around and at Easter or Halloween where he was always about bringing his special personality to the occasion.

“All what should have been happy times are now going to be filled by reminders of Joe no longer being here.

“It’s going to be a living nightmare without my hero, my boy Joe.”

Mrs Kerr’s husband Simon said she was a “caring and compassionate person who put the needs of others before her own”, and had worked as a psychiatric nurse and a teaching assistant at a school for children with learning disabilities.

He said: “Since January 8, 2019, life has been tough, unbearable.

"Getting up in the morning and having any normal routine is tough.

"I put on a fake smile for others but behind that face I am overwhelmed by what has happened.

“It is a reoccurring nightmare. I am a broken man.

“Anne was only 50 years old and she was a young 50-year-old. She was in good health and should have had many years ahead of her.

“Anne was our rock, the emptiness I feel around the house is overwhelming. All our plans for the future and our retirement were taken away from us on the M58.

“Anne will never meet her grandchildren… she has been denied a life.

"We as a family have been denied our rock.

“There are no winners for anybody involved in this. I hope that people will remember this and think about the devastation that has been caused before picking up their phone whilst driving.

“Sadly it is too late for our family, but not for the next victims.”