THE woman who died in the M5 crash near Taunton this morning has been named as Elaina Beard.

Formal identification is yet to take place, but police believe the woman who died to be 29-year-old Elaina Beard from Bridgwater.

Her family have issued the following tribute: “We are totally heartbroken at the loss of our Elaina.

“She was a loving sister, daughter, auntie and friend, who was so caring both as a carer in her day job and a family member.

“Even as we write this it still doesn't seem real that she was taken away from us so early.

“We are supporting each other as a family and have sought a little comfort in the outpouring of messages from people close and far, and we thank you all.

“We take some comfort knowing she is now with our nan and grandad.”

Colleagues at Bluebird Care, based at Westpark, Chelston, near Wellington, have paid tribute to Ms Beard.

A memo to staff says: "It is with great sadness that we inform you all today that our colleague and friend Elaina Beard from Bluebird Care tragically lost her life early this morning in an accident on the M5.

"Elaina was the 'firecracker' in the Sedgemoor and Burnham-on-Sea team.

"Courtney, her manager and friend, said she had a unique sense of humour which delighted her customers who will greatly miss her.

"Elaina was a private person who spent her quality time with her sister and niece and nephew in Bridgwater.

"Elaina has been with us since August 2017 and loved her job - she gave up her entire Christmas to help her colleagues enjoy theirs.

"In short, Elaina was a great care worker who will be sadly missed by her colleagues and friends in her 'Bluebird family' as Elaina referred to us.

"Courtney on behalf of the company has passed on our deepest condolences to the family.

"Bluebird Care and Courtney are continuing to support the family.

"Mark Oswald the company director joins all of the management team in expressing how greatly shocked and saddened we all are today."