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Firework show operator on death charges

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 22, 2012

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A man has been charged with manslaughter following a road accident on the M5 in which seven people were killed, police said.

Geoffrey Counsell, 50, from Somerset, will face magistrates accused of seven counts of manslaughter.

Anthony and Pamela Adams, Maggie and Michael Barton, Malcolm Beacham, Terry Brice and Kye Thomas died in the pile-up on the M5, near Taunton, on November 4, 2011.

Mr Counsell was operating the firework display at Taunton Rugby Club at the time of the crash. He will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on November 12.

Seven people died and 51 people were injured on the M5 near Taunton following a collision between 34 vehicles.

Lorry drivers Terry Brice, from south Gloucestershire, and Kye Thomas, from Gunnislake, East Cornwall, died in the crash, along with father and daughter Michael and Maggie Barton, from Windsor, Berkshire, grandparents Anthony and Pamela Adams, from south Wales, and Malcolm Beacham, from Woolavington, near Bridgwater.

Among the injured was Emma Barton, 19, who woke from a five-day coma to discover she had been orphaned. Her wheelchair-bound father Michael, 67, and 30-year-old sister Maggie died.

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