South East Wales

M5 crash: Family's heartbreak for Tony and Pamela Adams

Tributes have been paid to a retired couple from Newport who were among seven people killed in the 35-vehicle crash on the M5 on Friday night.

Tony and Pamela Adams' family said they were heartbroken at their loss.

Canon Andrew Willie said the community had been badly affected by their deaths, and prayers were said for the couple at their church in Newport.

The canon said the couple, who were in their 70s, had been teenage sweethearts who were together for over 50 years.

Mr Adams, who had served in the Army, had been a reader at St Mark's Church in Newport for many years.

Canon Willie said Mr Adams had already chosen the hymns for last Sunday's service before the crash.

"The community have been very badly affected by their deaths. Both leave a tremendous gap," he said.

He added that the couple had made an "enormous contribution" to the church.

Firework display

The couple's family said their thoughts were not only with their parents, but also with all the others involved in the incident.

They said they were "devastated and heartbroken" by the tragedy.

Image caption Floral tributes left on a bridge over the M5 near the crash scene

Newport councillor David Fouweather said he knew Mr Adams, and there was a "great deal of sadness" in the community.

"They were both very well respected. They were both devoted to each other, that's a message that's come across from people," he said.

"They were a devoted couple and were active with St Mark's Church and their local community. The people of Newport will be shocked by this terrible, terrible news."

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

They had been driving home after visiting their daughter Tonia White in Taunton.

Police have not established what caused the crash on the M5 near Taunton, Somerset, but say they have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

The "major line of inquiry" is a firework display organised by Taunton Rugby Club.

The club said its thoughts and prayers were with the families of those affected by the accident in which seven people died.

'Very difficult'

Avon and Somerset Police assistant chief constable Anthony Bangham said: "Our main line of inquiry has now moved towards the event that was on the side of the carriageway.

"We do believe that whilst there was fog and difficult conditions in the area, that actually from witness evidence there was very significant smoke across the carriageway that in effect caused a bank, similar to a fog bank, which was very distracting and very difficult to drive through."

Meanwhile, comedian Jimmy Carr has apologised for a joke about a car crash posted online.

The joke posted on his Twitter account was criticised by many people for being insensitive, including Mr and Mrs Adams' family, who had asked for an apology.

He has since tweeted: "Very bad timing by me. The joke was obviously not about recent tragic events. Apologies if any offence caused."

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