A mother and daughter from Birmingham are recovering in hospital after being injured in a crash on the M5, which claimed the lives of three people.
The 11-year-old, from Edgbaston, was informed at the weekend by doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where she is recovering from a broken pelvis, that her father had been one of the victims killed in the accident on both the south and northbound carriageways of the motorway, between junctions 8 and 9 on Friday, at about 7.30pm.
The crash happened after a van careered through the central reservation and ploughed into the Birmingham family’s car as they returned from a half-term holiday in Cornwall.
After the accident, which also claimed the lives of a couple from Coventry and left 15 people, travelling in nine other vehicles, with injuries, the girl was rushed to hospital in an air ambulance, while her mother was taken to Selly Oak Hospital with a knee wound. Both are expected to make a full recovery.
As part of their investigations, police are checking CCTV footage from motorway cameras in a bid to discover why the van – laden with beer barrels – suddenly ploughed through the central reservation.
Senior investigating officer Sergeant Tony Wallace, one of the first on the scene, said: “I have been to hundreds of accidents and dozens of fatal ones, but this scene was something else.
“The van had almost disintegrated and the beer barrels acted like missiles. It was certainly the worst incident I have had to deal with.”
* A man has died after a car crashed into a hedge in Malvern, Worcestershire, at the weekend. The man, who has not been named, suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene in Marlbank Road, near to Marlbank Inn in Welland, just after 11.10pm on Saturday.
Two other people travelling in the car were treated by paramedics – a woman for a serious arm injury and a minor head injury, and a man for head injuries. Both were taken to Cheltenham General Hospital.
An 11-year-old girl and a woman in her 30s were taken to hospital with serious injuries after the car they were travelling in left the road and landed 20ft away in a field.
The incident happened at 11.20am on Saturday on the B4371 Much Wenlock to Church Stretton Road, before Hope Bowlder.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said it was thought the car may have also struck a tree and rolled over before landing on its wheels in a field, which was down an embankment about 20ft from the road.
The driver of the car was airlifted to Selly Oak hospital, where she was treated for neck, back and leg injuries. The girl had serious head and chest injuries and was airlifted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.