UK & World News
M5 Pile-Up: Man Charged Over Seven Deaths
A man has been charged with seven counts of manslaughter after a fatal pile-up on the M5 during thick fog.
Geoffrey Counsell, 50, from Somerset, was operating a fireworks display at nearby Taunton Rugby Club when the crash - which involved 34 vehicles - happened in November 2011.
Seven people were killed and 51 others injured.
Lorry drivers Terry Brice, from Patchway, Gloucestershire, and Kye Thomas, from Gunnislake, Cornwall, died in the crash along with father and daughter Michael and Maggie Barton, from Windsor, Berkshire, grandparents Anthony and Pamela Adams, from Newport, and battle re-enactor Malcolm Beacham, from Woolavington, near Bridgwater.
Among those badly injured in the crash on the north-bound carriageway at junction 25 was Emma Barton, 19, who woke from a five-day coma to discover her father and sister had been killed.
A statement from Avon and Somerset Police and Crown Prosecution Service said: "Since the collision we have worked closely together to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the collision and to carefully consider all the evidence.
"This has been a complex process which has also involved working with Taunton Deane Borough Council and seeking the views of expert witnesses.
"Having considered the evidence in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the CPS decided there was sufficient evidence to charge Geoffrey Counsell, the provider of the fireworks display at Taunton Rugby Club on the night of the collision, with manslaughter."
The statement added there was insufficient evidence to prosecute for driver error or the culpability of Taunton Rugby Club.
Counsell is due to appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on November 12.