THE family of an elderly couple who died following a horrific crash near Shrewsbury have paid tribute to them.

Bill and May Duff, both aged 93 and from Wincham near Northwich, Cheshire, were killed after their  Citroen Picasso was involved in the incident on the A49 at Bayston Hill at 2.35pm on September 13.

They were pulled from their vehicle by members of the public after it caught alight, but they both died later at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Their family has paid tribute to the couple and told of their love story, having been childhood sweathearts, parted by war, only to be reunited decades later to marry at the age of 83.

A family statement, said: “Bill and May Duff were both born in 1918 within days of each other in Liverpool.

“They grew up together and became childhood sweethearts. 

“The advent of war saw them separated and they subsequently went their individual ways to marry and raise their families – Bill a son and daughter, and May three sons and a daughter. 

“Both single again, fate brought them together again in 1998 through Bill's brother and they married in 2001 in Liverpool at the grand young age of 83. They lived their lives to the full together in Northwich until tragedy struck on Tuesday afternoon. 

“They are fondly remembered with love by all their family and friends.”

The collision involved three other vehicles, a Ford C Max, a BMW and a Skoda estate.

The man and woman in the Ford C Max suffered fractures and other injuries and were taken by air ambulance to QE Hospital, Birmingham, where they both remain in a serious condition.

PC Tom Symonds, who is investigating the incident, said: “This very serious collision killed one couple and two others remain in hospital. Anyone who witnessed the incident should contact me on the West Mercia Police non-emergency number, 0300 333 3000.”

Mr and Mrs Duff's identities were released after the coroner for Shropshire opened and adjourned an inquest into their deaths.