Details have been published of improved safety on the M5 in Somerset, three years after one of the worst road accidents in living memoryRead the full story ›
Two people had a lucky escape following a collision on the M5 this morning.
A Land Rover collided with a Ford Transit van near Bridgwater at around 8.55am.
The Land Rover overturned several times and collided with a safety barrier on the other side of the carriageway.
A 60-year-old woman, who was driving the Land Rover, and a man who was in the passenger seat, have been taken to hospital for treatment. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
This was a very lucky escape for the occupants of the Land Rover, as the safety barrier did its job and stopped the vehicle from plunging down a vertical drop of about 160ft.
The West Somerset coroner is hearing advice on how to prevent a repeat of the crash on the M5 near Taunton, in which seven people died.
Michael Rose previously concluded that the accident was caused by dense fog, and that smoke from fireworks may have been a contributory factor, but was not the prime cause of the incident. He'll make safety recommendations after listening to the evidence of experts.
British Pyrotechnics Group say fireworks operators are now trained to take into account the risks of smoke when there is high humidity.
7 people died and 51 people were injured in the crash on November 4th 2011. 34 vehicles were involved.
Motorists caught up in a car crash on the M5 in which 7 people died have told an inquest how they became disorientated driving through a "white curtain" of fog.
The crash in November 2011 involved 34 vehicles. It happened on the night a fireworks display was being held at Taunton Rugby Club.
The event organiser, Geoffrey Counsell, was cleared of breaching health and safety regulations last year. Today, a coroner heard conflicting reports about the cause of the low visibility.
Richard Lawrence reports.
A date’s been set for an inquest into the deaths of seven people who died in a crash on the M5 near Taunton two years ago.
34 vehicles were involved in the pile-up and fire in November 2011, making it one of the worst motorway accidents in the country.
Geoffrey Counsell, who staged a fireworks display at nearby Taunton Rugby Club ground, was cleared last week of breaching health and safety laws amid claims drivers could not see because of smoke drifting across the road.
West Somerset Coroner, Michael Rose says he will hold a full inquest at Taunton on March 31st.
As the case against the man accused of causing the M5 crash is dismissed, our reporter Bob Cruwys has been to meet survivors.Read the full story ›
The daughter of a couple who were killed in the M5 crash said she was "devastated" with the result - and still blamed Geoffrey Counsell, the fireworks organiser, for the smash.
Elaine Adams, whose parents Anthony and Pamela Adams, from Newport, south Wales, died in the accident, said: "I think I speak on behalf of all the families in the crash - we are devastated."
Fireworks organiser Geoffrey Counsell has criticised the authorities for prosecuting him "simply for the sake of it".In a five-minute statement read outside Bristol Crown Court, he paid tribute to the "quiet dignity" of the victims' families.
His statement was read by his solicitor Gavin Reese.
The Council is now seeking to work closely with the relevant authorities to to see if the current guidance regarding large fireworks displays, such as the one at Taunton Rugby Club, is appropriate.
We also pledge our support for any changes that may be deemed necessary.
Our primary concern is to minimise the risks of this type of unimaginable incident happening again.
On behalf of the Council, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the families of the bereaved and the families and friends of all those affected by these terrible events.
I would also pay tribute to all those who showed such bravery at the scene, to all the emergency services and to staff at the hospitals where the injured
This brings to a legal end the terrible events of two years ago.
But the families affected will live with the consequences of that appalling night forever.
Although the evidence did not support a prosecution, one legacy of what happened should still be a continued effort to improve road safety.
Britain has low casualty rates compared to other European countries, but I have written to the Transport Secretary asking him to consider what more can be done to improve visibility and remove distractions along our motorway network.