Family calls for new legislation as inquest begins
2:21pm Wednesday 2nd April 2014 in News
THE BARRY family of a couple who died in the M5 car crash, in which five others also died, have called for new legislation.
Son Russell and daughter-in-law Tracey Adams said they hoped rules and regulations could be made about firework displays next to motorways and main roads as an inquest into the deaths got under way.
West Somerset coroner Michael Rose resumed the hearing following last year’s trial of firework contractor Geoffrey Counsell.
Grandparents Anthony, 73, and Pamela Adams, 70, who grew up in Barry, died in the pile-up which involved more than 30 cars and injured 51 people, some seriously,
Mr Counsell had been operating a display at the nearby Taunton rugby club.
Bristol Crown Court cleared him of breaching health and safety laws on the night of the accident on the M5 near Taunton in November 2011.
The 51-year-old said he believed the decision to prosecute him was "motivated by a desire to find someone to blame for this terrible accident, simply for the sake of doing so."
During the trial, motorists described fog as being so thick on the northbound carriageway they likened it to having a tin of paint thrown over their windscreens.
The inquest, heard before a jury, at Shire Hall in Taunton, is expected to last up to a week.
Motorists told the inquest about being involved in one of the worst British motorway pile-ups in living memory.
Collision investigator Peter Davey said accounts from witnesses to the length of the fog - described in court as an “area of reduced visibility” - differed but in his view was it must have been more than 110 metres (120 yards) in length.
Daughter-in-law Tracey Adams, of Cadoxton, Barry, said: “I hope it's the end of it all so we can more forward and get on with our lives without this hanging over us for even longer.
“It's been two-and-a-half years it's been going on so we just want to get back to normality and not have to keep revisiting the past.
“I imagine it will be the same for all the families that have lost loved ones or that were injured in the tragic accident.
“Let's just hope the law can be changed and rules and regulations made about firework displays by motorways and main roads and avoid this type of accident ever happening again.”
The Adams’ youngest son Mark echoed their views and said his family just wanted to concentrate on the future and move forward now.
He said he hoped it would be at an end once the inquest was over.
To sign the petition, visit www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-change-the-health-and-safety-legislation-regarding-public-and-private-firework-displays-2