Investigation into the M5 crash could go on into the new year
Published 06/11/2011 | 12:51
The investigation into the cause of one of the worst accidents on Britain's motorway network in recent memory could easily go on into the new year.
While an official view regarding what caused the deadly road crash will have to wait, speculation elsewhere is rife.
Theories about what triggered Friday evening's deadly collision on the M5 already abound.
Among them is the belief that a firework display at Taunton Rugby Club may have distracted drivers as they passed by.
Thick black smoke generated by the display, together with a number of bonfires in the area, may also have made driving conditions difficult.
Avon and Somerset Police is looking at the potential impact any aspect of the event might have had on the fatal collision.
A club official claimed yesterday that the display it put on finished at 8.15pm, before the accident had happened.
But its ground is adjacent to where the accident happened and smoke produced by the event may have hung in the vicinity for some time afterwards.
Many local people, aware the event was under way, believed a motorway fireball, visible from nearby communities, was part of the firework display.
Others speculate that lingering smoke from the display may have reinforced fog, which was already heavy at the time.
Another view being put forward by some is that a car joined the motorway at speed and immediately veered into the path of a lorry.
Its driver took immediate evasive action by changing lanes, forcing a cascade of similar action on other drivers close by.
Marie, 26, from Taunton, who preferred not to give her full name, said: "There is a lot of speculation on the internet about how it all started.
"On Facebook, friends have written about a small car joining the motorway at junction 25 and causing the accident.
"Driving too fast instead of giving way, as you should. Who can say if it's true?"
Another theory put forward concerns a large animal, like a deer, suddenly appearing on the motorway and causing chaos.
This appears to stem from a mound covered by a sheet seen on the motorway close to where accident investigators were working on Saturday.
The suggestion put forward, and not denied by police when asked, was that it hid the dead corpse of a large animal.
Eyewitness accounts of the horrific smash have also described a thick wall of fog which suddenly appeared at the collision point.
All the speculation, however, may ultimately prove to be very far from what eventually emerges from the official investigation.
It is also possible that fog, fireworks, bad driving and a panicked wild animal all combined to cause Friday's fatal collision.