Family disappointment as coroner's verdict

Tony and Pam Adams

Tony and Pam Adams

First published in News

ONE of the sons of M5 road crash victims, former Barry couple Tony and Pamela Adams, has expressed disappointment in the inquest coroner’s verdict.

Youngest child Mark Adams said not a day went by when he didn’t re-live the incident – having viewed some of it, not then knowing his parents were involved, from the crew room of the ambulance station where he was working on November 4 2011.

The coroner dismissed smoke from a firework display as causing one of Britain's worst motorway pile-ups.

Seven people died and 51 were injured as vehicles collided near Taunton, Somerset.

Motorists described a wall of thick fog and the smell of smoke or gunpowder.

The collision happened at 8.20pm - five minutes after a £3,000 fireworks display finished at the nearby Taunton rugby club.

Grandparents Tony Adams, 73, and his wife Pamela, 70, were among those who died.

Firework contractor Geoffrey Counsell, 51, who had operated the display, was last year cleared at Bristol Crown Court of breaching health and safety laws on the night of the accident.

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose told the inquest: "I dismiss the possible cause being the smoke from the firework display itself."

"All the deceased were travelling in motor vehicles on the northbound carriageway when the vehicles in which they were travelling entered an area of reduced visibility and collisions occurred as the drivers became disorientated."

"There were in the Taunton area pockets of very dense fog - in some cases of such density that only occur possibly once or maybe twice in a decade

"Part of this area of fog may have extended to the perimeters of Taunton RFC and, in all probability, to a height of 25ft or more to reach the motorway.

"Varying plumes of smoke from the firework display, particularly that caught below the inversion area, may have mixed with the fog and therefore I cannot rule out the possibility that they drifted under the inversion to the motorway and may have added to the intensity of the obscuration."

Son Mark said: “I have read and re-read the post mortem reports and toxicology reports.

“It is not nice reading.

“I feel that pain every second of my day, i see it happening in my mind continually.

“I think that being given the cause of death as “reduced visibility” is utter rubbish and a poor outcome.

“It is now over, and it’s time for us all to attempt to get into a new routine of life.

“We have not been able to grieve as yet with worry and stress with courts.”

He said an annual memorial rugby tournament should take place near the date with money donated to charities chosen by the families of the victims.

He added: “We have to let things go now, leave it alone and start to move forward. We will never get the completion that we so desperately needed, but memories of joyfulness of our parents will always be with us.”

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