Tributes have been paid to a Helensburgh teacher tragically killed in a car crash on her first day back at work after treatment for cancer.

The car being driven by mum-of-two Caroline Nelson, 45, a teacher at Parklands School, was in collision with another vehicle on the outskirts of the Burgh as she drove from her home in Arrochar on Monday.

Caroline died at the scene of the accident on the A818 at Daligan despite valiant attempts to save her.

News of her death has shocked teachers, pupils and parents at the special needs school where when was a popular and valued member of staff.

Helen Findlay, whose son Caleb, 15, had been one of Caroline's pupils, told the Advertiser that she considered Caroline a friend, as well as being Caleb's teacher, and she was deeply saddened.

Helen, 53, said: "This is a tragedy not just for the family but for the school. It is a massive loss and she will be sorely missed.

"I could not believe the sad news when I heard, especially as Caroline had been undergoing treatment for cancer.

"She was a lovely, giving, caring person and Caleb, who is profoundly disabled, benefited greatly from being her pupil.

"The school is a very tight-knit community, everyone knows everyone else - the teachers, the parents and the pupils - and it is a horrible, horrible tragedy."

Anne Paterson, chief education officer at Argyll and Bute Council, said Caroline was a much-valued member of their teaching team.

She added: "She was caring, creative and dedicated in her work to support our young people.

"She will be missed greatly at Parklands School.

"We will do all we can to support her colleagues, her pupils and her family, and we will remember Caroline with fondness and gratitude.”

On September 21, mum of two Caroline had posted a jubilant Facebook post about her final day of radiotherapy treatment.

She wrote: "“I have been diagnosed with low grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Blood tests are good so I’m not a high risk at the moment.

“No obvious reason to get this, but because I was soooo run down, stressed and tired I truly believe the strain of a very difficult year is the basis for this.

"So my advice to you all is ask for help when things are tough and if you aren’t heard, ask again and again until something is done.

''I was in a ridiculously stressful situation and not fully supported.

"So being me and stubborn I kept going until I was ill, and this kind of ill is not what you want.

“Hopefully my outcome is good and I can still fulfil the dreams that I had put aside for years and be there for my boys.”

As news of the crash emerged on Monday, witnesses took to social media to praise the action of council refuse collectors who stopped to assist at the scene.

A council spokesperson told Advertiser: “We know that our staff go the extra mile for our communities on a daily basis.

"However, exceptional circumstances like this show just how much they care.

"Council staff on their way to work assisted at the scene and we are immensely proud of the quick thinking and practical support they demonstrated in very stressful situation.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected.”

A statement from her family said: “Caroline’s family are devastated and appreciate all the help and support they have received over the past few days.”

Sergeant Paul MacPherson appealed for witnesses to the crash at 9.10am on Monday involving Caroline’s ­Vauxhall Meriva, on the A818 at Daligan.

An elderly couple in another car were taken to hospital.

Sgt MacPherson said: “Although a number of people stopped to assist at the time, I am still keen to hear from anyone who may have either witnessed the crash or indeed who saw the cars on the road prior to it happening.”