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A year after M5 crash, still no decision on prosecution

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

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A memorial concert will be held next month to mark the one-year anniversary of the horrific M5 crash that claimed the lives of seven people.

The 34-vehicle crash on the northbound carriageway of the M5 near junction 25 at Taunton was the worst accident to hit Britain's motorways for a decade.

A file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) several months ago.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "The file is still with the CPS and we are awaiting for a decision from them as to what happens next. We have no indication of how long that might take."

A spokesman for the CPS added: "The file has now been sent off to counsel for their considered opinion before we make a final decision which is still some weeks away."

To remember all those involved in the incident, the dead and injured, their families and the emergency services who dealt with the aftermath, the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton has donated the venue for a concert by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Concert Band.

The concert is being held on November 4 at 3pm. There will also be a silent auction, with the proceeds being split equally between two charities.

The charities chosen are linked to the emergency services involved in the incident – The Fire Fighters Charity and Somerset Accident Voluntary Emergency Service (SAVES).

Tickets for the event, which start at £10, can be purchased direct from The Brewhouse by visiting its website at www.thebrewhouse.net.

Lorry driver Kye Thomas, 38 and from Gunnislake in South East Cornwall, was one of the seven victims.

He died along with fellow driver Terence Brice, 55. Both worked for Samworth Brothers – owners of Callington-based Ginsters.

Tonia White, from Taunton, lost her parents, Tony and Pamela Adams, of Newport, South Wales, in the crash.

The other victims were Malcolm Beacham, 46, of Woolavington, near Bridgwater, Michael Barton, 67, from Windsor, and Mr Barton's daughter, Valerie, 30.

Survivors told how they drove into a thick bank of fog, moments before the accident happened. According to reports, an investigation into the cause of the crash, in which 51 people were also injured, concluded that drifting smoke from a nearby fireworks party was not to blame.

A police source was quoted as saying the emphasis of the probe had shifted and that driver error was the probable trigger, possibly a vehicle braking heavily as it encountered a dense fog bank just ahead of the main body of the accident.

A complex reconstruction by accident investigators, scientists and meteorologists was held in an aircraft hanger in an attempt to recreate the unique microclimate which occurred at the time.

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