M5 crash: Vigil held for victims near scene in Somerset

A vigil has been held exactly a week after a crash that killed seven people on the M5 in Somerset.

Thirty-four vehicles were involved in the crash at junction 25 on 4 November. Fifty-one people were injured.

Taunton's Mayor Steve Brooks spoke at the vigil, held on Friday evening close to the crash site at Hankridge, and said it was time to reflect.

He also thanked the emergency services, hospital staff and members of the public who helped out.

"Without their actions other lives may have been lost that night," he added.

Minute's silence

The Reverend Rod Corke, Vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church in Taunton, introduced the private service, held at Sainsbury's car park, which was attended by more than 100 emergency workers and relatives of those killed or injured.

Hymns were then sung, accompanied by members of the Salvation Army.

The Archdeacon of Taunton, The Venerable John Reed, offered prayers for those who died, their loved ones and the emergency services.

"Those that were there will have a very raw mental image of what happened and that's going to take a very long time to work through," he said.

"We must keep a watchful alert for their feelings because we cannot know what it's like for them.

"We must do what we can to share and carry."

At 20:25 GMT, the time of the accident a week previously, a minute's silence was held.

Afterwards, a number of floral tributes were left on the motorway embankment.

Those killed in the crash on 4 November were lorry drivers Terry Brice, from Patchway, South Gloucestershire, and Kye Thomas, from Gunnislake, Cornwall; father and daughter Michael and Maggie Barton, from Windsor, Berkshire; grandparents Anthony and Pamela Adams, from Newport, south Wales; and battle re-enactor Malcolm Beacham, from Woolavington, near Bridgwater, Somerset.

An inquest into their deaths was opened by the west Somerset coroner in Taunton on Thursday.

The public had been asked to stay away from the vigil following police concerns about the number of people who might attend.

Space has been set aside at Sainsbury's car park for public tributes to be laid from Saturday morning.

A book of condolence has also been placed in Taunton Library for people to sign.

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