M5 DEATH CRASH INQUEST: Coroner to give findings today

South Wales Argus: DIED: Tony and Pam Adams DIED: Tony and Pam Adams

A CORONER is due to give his findings today on an M5 crash in which seven people, including a couple from Newport, died.

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose will record his verdict after adjourning the inquest last week following eight days of evidence at Shire Hall in Taunton.

Seven people died and 51 were injured during a series of crashes involving 34 vehicles on the southbound carriageway of the M5 near Taunton on the evening of November 4, 2011.

The pile-ups happened at 8.20pm, just five minutes after a £3,000 fireworks display concluded only 200ft away at Taunton rugby club.

Drivers have told of entering a wall of thick fog - described by some as like a "white curtain", "emulsion" or "custard being poured from a jug" - and were unable to prevent multiple collisions.

Other drivers have described smelling smoke or gunpowder on the motorway.

Grandparents Anthony Adams, 73, and his wife Pamela,70, from Newport; Michael Barton, 67, and his daughter Maggie, 30, from Windsor, Berkshire; battle re-enactor Malcolm Beacham, 46, from Woolavington, Somerset; and lorry drivers Terry Brice, 55, from South Gloucestershire, and Kye Thomas, 38, from Cornwall, all died.

The inquest resumed earlier this month following the trial last year of fireworks contractor Geoffrey Counsell.

Mr Counsell, 51, who had been operating the display at the rugby club, was cleared at Bristol Crown Court of breaching health and safety laws on the night of the accident.

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