Developing

Witnesses Recount Horrific Motorway Pile-Up

As investigators begin to try and piece together the events leading up to the "horrific" fatal crash on the M5, witnesses have been sharing their experiences.

"There was a huge pile up," teacher Tom Evans told Sky News.

"Flames, big high flames, billowing smoke coming across the motorway. As you got towards the scene it was obvious something pretty serious had happened.

"When we did drive alongside it, it was horrific."

Some have speculated that nearby firework displays may have caused a distraction for motorists. But others said extreme foggy conditions were to blame.

"There was a very thick fog bank which lifted as quickly as it came," Ciara Neno told Sky News.

"There were no fireworks at the time - just music from the rugby club.

"It was horrifying to hear that speculation was rife that the fog only came after the accident and that driver distraction caused it. 

"As we were near the very start of the crash I can categorically state that this was not the case."

Mrs Neno was driving with her husband when the crash occurred in front of them.

"It was quite frankly the scariest night of my life and we are extremely lucky to be alive.

"A black fog came down very very fast and the Iceland truck in front of us literally disappeared.

"We managed to brake and not hit the truck but the carnage had started and all we heard was 'thump thump thump' and we were waiting to be hit and end up under the lorry.

"I got onto the emergency services and my husband started dragging people from smoking cars.

"The noise and the smell was horrendous and there was several explosions as the fires took hold.

"I cannot stress how blessed we feel to be able to walk away from this, too many others were not so lucky."

Mr Evans was on the opposite side of the dual carriageway. He said he saw paramedics and police run over the central reservation in an attempt to reach the injured as quickly as possible.

"There were some fire guys on a ladder going up into a squashed carriage of an artic and they were obviously trying to see if the guy in there was alive.

"There was loads going on. It was a mess. Driving past you just felt like these guys are putting their lives on the line climbing into the cabins of mashed up lorry cabins to try and get people out."

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