Three killed in three hours in road accidents in West
Three men died in the space of three hours following separate accidents on the West's roads.
A 26-year-old was killed on the outskirts of Tatworth, near Chard in Somerset, a 60-year-old cyclist died on the A303 near Podimore, and a man died on the M4 between Bristol and Bath on Sunday evening.
The first man died when his Renault failed to negotiate a left-hand bend on the A358 Axminster to Chard road at around 6.35pm. It mounted a kerb, hit a stone wall, landed on its roof and caught fire.
Crews from Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue extinguished the fire and ambulance crews from Honiton, Axminster and Taunton attended, but the driver, from East Somerset, was declared dead at the scene. The vehicle had landed in a hedge and firefighters used thermal imaging equipment to ensure no passengers had been thrown from the vehicle in the dark. They later used a winch to move the car to a safer position. The road was closed for more than four hours while accident investigators examined the scene.
No collisions have been recorded at the spot where the accident happened, but several collisions have taken place 250 metres away where cars have several times gone off the road and ended up in a cottage garden. A road surface with higher skid resistance was put in place to deal with that blackspot.
Terry Beale, of Somerset Road Safety Partnership said: "We will be looking at the incident, as we look at any injury collisions."
The 60-year-old cyclist died after a collision with a lorry on a dual carriageway section of the A303 at West Podimore, near Yeovil, at around 5pm.
The rider was travelling from Podimore towards Ilchester, when he was in collision with a lorry travelling in the same direction. The cyclist is thought to have crashed into a roadside ditch. He was later declared dead at the scene. The road was closed for more than four hours to allow accident investigators to examine the scene.
A 45-year-old man from Exeter was arrested on Sunday evening on suspicion of causing death by careless driving. He was still in police custody last night.
The third fatal accident happened on the eastbound section of the M4, between junctions 19 and 18, at around 7.40pm.
A car travelling towards London is believed to have been in collision with the central reservation and was then struck by other vehicles travelling in the same direction.
A man – believed to have been the driver of the first car – was declared dead at the scene. Both carriageways were closed to enable emergency services personnel to deal with the incident, and the eastbound section was closed for the rest of Sunday night.