Inquest opens after fatal road collision on A303 Ilminster bypass
The two people who died in a head-on road crash on the Ilminster bypass last week have been named.
A section of the A303 was closed after a car and van collided on Thursday morning.
The crash happened shortly before 8.30am between the Ilminster roundabout and South Petherton roundabout, and the road was closed for nearly six hours.
Police said they received reports of a Ford Focus estate travelling across the centre of the road and colliding with a Volkswagen van travelling the opposite way.
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The driver of the car, Paul Michael Hobday, 60, and a female companion Christine Michelle Edney, 69, both of Canvey Island, Essex, died after the crash which saw two other people taken to hospital.
An inquest into the deaths was opened on Monday and adjourned to a date to be fixed, a spokesman for the coroner’s office said.
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: “Unfortunately two people from one of the vehicles died at the scene. There were two people in the second vehicle with one person taken to Frenchay Hospital with serious injuries and the second person receiving a minor injury.
“Given the seriousness of the collision a full investigation will be conducted to establish what happened.”
Fire appliances from Yeovil, Martock and Ilminster also attended the crash scene. Crews used hydraulic rescue equipment to release a man from the van, a spokesman for the fire service said.
He added: “They removed the door and firefighters and ambulance crews removed him on a spinal board.
“Another person in the van was removed before our arrival.”
The injured man was taken by air ambulance to Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol, with serious pelvis injuries. A woman was taken to Musgrove accident and emergency, in Taunton.
Road closures were put in place at the A303 junctions with the A358 and the A356, with police diversions set up. Police are asking anyone who witnessed the collision to call them on 101.
The incident comes as Devon haulage firm Bale Group backed calls to dual the entire A303 from Exeter to London.
Improvements would provide an alternative route to the M5 and M4 but campaigners say the plan would be devastating for the environment.