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  1. West Country

PICTURES: Fatal level crossing crash near Taunton

The accident happened at the Athelney level crossing just before 6.30 am Credit: ITV News West Country
The car was pushed 500m down the track, killing the occupant Credit: ITV News West Country
There were around 45 people on board the train, which was travelling from Exeter to Paddington. No one on board was hurt Credit: ITV News West Country
The line between Taunton and Westbury is closed and trains have been diverted via Bristol Temple Meads Credit: ITV News West Country


  1. West Country

One person killed in level crossing crash

British Transport Police have confirmed that one person has died after a train hit a car on a level crossing in Somerset. It happened near Athelney, which is on the line between Taunton and Castle Cary.

There were no reports of any passengers on the train being injured in the crash.

The car is trapped under the front of the train and services are stopped in the area. First Great Western is operating replacement buses between Taunton and Westbury.

  1. West Country

M5 manslaughter charges dropped against firework organiser

Manslaughter charges are to be dropped against the man who organised a firework display on the night of the M5 crash in Somerset in which seven people died. Bristol Crown Court heard that Geoffrey Cousell will face a health and safety charge.

Fifty-one people were also injured in the crash near Taunton in November 2011. Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour from Avon and Somerset police said:

The collision on the M5 in November 2011 was one of the worst in living memory. We launched a comprehensive investigation immediately after to establish the full circumstances which led to the collision. Our investigation was meticulous and complex. We took hundreds of witness statements, examined 34 vehicles and consulted several experts. Based on this evidence the Crown Prosecution Service took a decision to charge. However, following further consideration in recent weeks they have decided to drop the manslaughter charges.”

– Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour