Safety improvements following M5 crash in Somerset

Details have finally been published of how safety can be improved on the M5 in Somerset - almost three years after one of the worst road accidents in living memory.

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M5 crash was like "pinballs in a machine"

A jury at Bristol Crown Court has heard how drivers crashed 'like pinballs in a machine' as, it is claimed, dense smoke from a firework display triggered a motorway pile-up which killed seven people.

A survivor of the crash, which left 51 injured following the horror smash on the M5 in Somerset, feared the next impact would kill him as he rebounded in the blinding cloud.

Dozens of cars, vans and lorries collided in one of the worst traffic accidents seen in the UK in November 2011.

Geoffrey Counsell, 51, is accused of health and safety breaches over the huge display at Taunton Rugby Club where around 1,500 rockets fired in just 15 minutes. He denies the charges

"Within a fraction of a second of passing junction 25 my window screen went completely white as if a blanket had been thrown over it, it was like a thick layer of snow.....

"I was taken by surprise and before I had time to activate my fog lights or my hazard lights the fog began thinning.

"I could see three sets of break lights directly in front of me, on the near side and the off side, and immediately I thought I was going to hit the vehicle in front so I braked as hard as I could.

"The only thing I can liken it to is being a pinball in a machine."

– Witness, Steve Kingsland who was caught in the crash

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Crash site becomes focus

The jury in the M5 crash trial have been visiting the scene of the accident, where seven people died.

The pile-up has been described as one of the worst motorway crashes in British history.

Today focus turned to Taunton rugby club, where the man accused of failing to ensure the safety of others, organised a fireworks display that night.

Rebecca Broxton reports.

Jury visit crash site

Jury members in the M5 crash trial have been visiting the scene of the accident in Somerset.

Seven people died when dozens of vehicles collided near the Taunton junction two years ago.

Geoffrey Counsell, who organised a nearby firework display, denies failing to ensure the safety of others.

The pile-up has been described as one of the worse motorway crashes in British history.

His trial continues at Bristol Crown Court.

Jury in M5 crash trial visit site of accident Credit: ITV News West Country

Pictured: site of fireworks display on night of M5 crash

A pitch at Taunton Rugby Club, with the M5 bridge in the distance. Credit: ITV News

The picture shows Taunton Rugby Club, site of a fireworks display on the night of the fatal M5 crash, which happened nearby. The prosecution allege that smoke from the display contributed to the crash, in which 7 people died.

The display organiser, Geoffrey Counsell, is accused of failing to ensure the safety of others. He denies the charge.

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Drivers 'disorientated' by fireworks smog

The organiser of a fireworks display, near the scene where seven people died in a crash on the M5, has gone on trial.

Geoffrey Counsell denies failing to ensure the safety of others following the tragedy near Taunton two years ago.

The pile-up was described as one of the worst motorway crashes in British history.

Today the prosecution said conditions gave vehicles no chance of stopping.

One driver described it as 'like having a tin of paint thrown over your windscreen.'

From Bristol Crown Court, here's David Woodland.

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