M5 crash: Retired couple from Newport among victims

A retired couple from south Wales were among the seven people killed in the 34-vehicle pile-up on the M5, a vicar has said.

Anthony and Pamela Adams were driving home after visiting their daughter Tonia White in Taunton.

The Reverend Andrew Willie said he had to tell the congregation at St Mark's Church in Newport where the couple attended that they had died.

Police have not confirmed the identities of those killed or injured.

Image caption Tony and Pam Adams were driving home from visiting their daughter

Mr Willie said: "The congregation was shocked and deeply saddened to be told of their deaths in the M5 crash.

"We will remember Tony and Pam with love and affection.

"Prayers were said for them and their families who are obviously devastated by the loss of their adored parents.

"Tony and Pamela were faithful members of the parish church for many years and Tony was a reader and a former church warden.

"Pamela was involved in many church activities - they will both be sorely missed."

Newport councillor David Fouweather said he knew Mr Adams and worked with his son at Cardiff Prison.

He said staff at the prison were told on Sunday that the couple had died in the crash.

Fellow councillor Les Knight told BBC Wales he attended the service at St Mark's where the couple were remembered.

On Saturday Mrs White told the BBC her parents were missing and her family "feared the worst".

She said her parents left her home around 20:10 GMT on Friday to return to Newport.

"They were supposed to go on the M5 as that route is on their way home to south Wales," she said.

Devoted couple

Image caption All 34 vehicles have been removed from the crash scene

"They were supposed to phone us when they arrived home safe but we have not heard anything since Friday.

"They were not answering their mobiles or phone and were just not contactable at all.

"My brother was also trying to call them but we just can not get through.

"This is completely out of character for them.

"We fear the worst - that they have perished in the crash."

On Sunday neighbour and close friend Doreen Martin, 88, said Mr and Mrs Adams were "lovely and caring people" who were "devoted to each other and their family".

"Everyone was devastated when the vicar broke the news of what had happened," she added.

"I'm just in the middle of writing a letter to their daughter to say how sorry I am."

'Massive fireball'

Mr Adams was a retired hospital administrator. The couple were in their early seventies.

As well as seven deaths, the pile-up on Friday night left 51 people injured.

The cause of the crash is not clear but the road was wet and foggy in patches. Officers are examining whether fog or smoke from a nearby bonfire and fireworks event may have been a factor.

Avon and Somerset Police said on Sunday morning all vehicles had been removed from the site and their "worst fears have not been realised".

Police said the pile-up, which happened on the northbound carriageway at about 20:30 GMT, had led to a "massive fireball" at the scene.

Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: "Overnight all the vehicles involved in this tragic incident have been removed from the scene.

"Our worst fears have not been realised and the number of those that sadly lost their lives remains at seven.

"Extensive work has been carried out to identify those people and families are being appointed family liaison officers to support them.

"Formal identification has not taken place - this will happen in the coming days."

People concerned about relatives should call the emergency helpline on 0800 0920410.

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