Thursday, May 30

Eyewitnesses describe horror M5 lorry crash



Eyewitness have revealed the full horror after a lorry smashed through a central barrier on the M5, leaving at least four dead and a woman and two children fighting for their lives.

The truck was travelling along the southbound carriageway when it suddenly smashed through the barrier and ploughed into several vehicles, witnesses said.

Dozens of motorists leapt from their vehicles to help victims and pulled screaming children and their parents from burning cars.

A hero cardiologist, who was among those that rushed to the aid of one of victims, said one car was absolutely destroyed and another had flipped over.

Another motorist said they could see one car had been left completely flat, leaving them fearing the people inside wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Horror pictures show the whole right side of a silver car had been ripped off and several other cars crushed while one car had flown across the road and flipped onto its roof.

Have you witnessed the crash or are you stuck on the motorway? Call 0207 293 3018 or email

Dr Amer Hamed helped a GP and other medics tend to the injured woman before paramedics arrived six minutes later and rushed her to hospital.

He told The BBC : There was a lorry involved and at least two other cars. One was absolutely destroyed and another had flipped over.

Dr Hamed added: People are helping as much as they can. Several people offered us water and one man came out of his car to give food.

We’re going to be stuck here for a few hours yet.

Among other brave people that rushed to help were good friends Jasper Foxx, Daniel Stevenson and Stephen Dibley, who were only about 30 seconds behind the lorry.

The trio had been on their way back from Cheltenham and said they saw the lorry’s tyre blow just before 2.30pm.

Jasper told Bristol Post: We were only a short distance behind the lorry and from what we had seen, it had a puncture, lost control and it veered right through the central reservation and into the other side of the carriageway.

We didn’t see the impact but we pulled over and tried to give some first aid.

A motorist on the northbound carriageway, who didn’t want to be named, told Mirror Online: I’ve just passed the scene.

The poor people didn’t stand a chance one car was left completely flat it’s horrific.

It’s so sad for those poor souls who lost their lives and their families.

From where we were probably just 30 seconds behind it could have been us.

BBC reporter Chris Kelly said there was almost complete silence in the aftermath, while emergency crews worked through quite a disturbing scene.

He added: The lorry that has crashed has hit, what M5 commuters will know as a familiar landmark, a windsock next to the road. But alongside that are several cars crushed from the impact.

Images and footage show the white truck’s cab embedded in a bank and its tail stuck in the air, with dozens of emergency crews surrounding it.

Another shocked witness, Oli Dawes said he had never seen cars so mashed.

He wrote on Facebook: Jesus I missed it by less than 1 minute.

Could have been a large horse box/lorry.

I was only 30 seconds behind the accident so eventually got through and am now in Birmingham.

It was an incredibly sad sight, I’ve never seen cars so mashed.

The severity of the crash was immediately obvious, he said, adding: So so sad. My heart sank as I eventually drove passed, I knew people had died.

I feel awful for the victims, I saw people pulled out and led on the side of the motorway.

I’m just pleased so many people were there that knew how to help.

Another man, Nick Wilkison, claimed riot vans were sent to the scene.

He wrote: M5 closed both ways major fatalities, 6 fire engines 8 ambulances loads of police and 2 riot vans closed until this evening.

Scores of motorists have been trapped in six-mile long tailbacks for at least four hours.

Traffic began moving at around 6.30pm today, but delays and road closures are expected until 2am tomorrow morning.

Emergency crews raced to the scene just after 2.30pm and shut off the road between junction 16 near Almondsbury and junction 14 near Falfield, in south Gloucestershire.

A woman and two children are fighting for their lives in hospital after the fatal crash.

Four other people were killed and police are working to notify their next of kin.

The lorry driver survived and was taken to hospital to be checked over, which police said was as a precaution.

Hundreds of Derby County FC fans leaving a Bristol City FC match at Ashton Gate were caught up in stationary traffic as emergency services cut people free.

The slip roads onto the M5 are not expected to open until 9pm, while the actual site of the crash is not expected to be cleared until about 2am tomorrow.

Witness Rose Harris wrote on Twitter: Bloody hell. Lorry travelling southbound on M5 just crossed central reservation into oncoming traffic. Does not look good.

Another witness, going by the name Littleglob wrote: “Stuck on M5 major incident truck crossed central barrier from southbound onto northbound, just after Bristol, M5 closed traffic stopped N&S.”

Avon and Somerset Police Superintendent Simon Ellis said: “We’ve been co-ordinating a multi-agency operation following this horrific collision on the M5 earlier today.

Emergency service personnel have been working tirelessly at the scene in harrowing conditions and I’d like to praise them for the work they’ve done and are still doing.

I’d also like to thank the members of the public who courageously went to the aid of those involved in this collision and in some cases rescued them from their vehicles.

Our priority is to ensure the victims’ next of kin are notified and supported, as well as the ongoing management of the scene, and this important work is ongoing.

The M5 remains closed in both directions between J16 and 14. Trapped traffic is being cleared slowly via one lane of the northbound carriageway.

The southbound carriageway between these junctions is clear of trapped traffic and diversions are in place in both directions.

We know this has been extremely disruptive to many people but we’ve had to prioritise the rescue and recovery operation and ensure we carry out a thorough investigation at the scene.

This is painstaking work.

South Western Ambulance Service said: We were called just after 2.30pm.

We have 13 resources at the scene including the critical care team and the hazardous area response team.

There are expected to be further delays throughout the area as today is moving in day for thousands of students heading to UWE.

Police rushed to a stretch of motorway in Somerset earlier today after witnesses claimed they saw a severed hand in the hard shoulder.

Highways England staff who patrol the motorway investigated and discovered it was just a dummy hand made of plastic.