Elderly passenger dies and two are injured as car leaves the road on M4
AN elderly passenger was killed as a car flipped and rolled down the embankment of a busy stretch of the M4 at lunchtime.
The victim was the rear seat passenger travelling with two others, both also elderly, who were transported to Great Western Hospital by ambulance with minor injuries.
At around 12.30pm the black Peugeot careered off the side of the westbound carriageway from the inside lane of the M4 between Junctions 15 and 16 in what is being treated as a single-vehicle accident.
The accident forced the full closure of the westbound carriageway for several hours as emergency crews worked at the scene, while the motorway was restricted to one lane and later two lanes of traffic until after 5pm.
Sgt Barrie Card, manager of the serious collision investigation team at Wiltshire Police, said: “We believe they had just been abroad, had landed at Luton Airport and were now travelling back to their homes in the Bristol area.
“At this time we don’t think any other vehicles were involved and it was a single vehicle collision, though clearly, it is early days.”
The accident occurred little over a mile east of Junction 16, and initially forced the closure of only one lane, though this later changed.
The embankment was so steep and deep the car could not be seen from the roadside. It was found upside down on its roof, with the rear pointing forwards and a large quantity of grass stuck on the underside of the engine.
The scene was attended by the Highways Agency, Wilt-shire Police and Wiltshire Air Ambulance, with six marked police cars, two ambulances and a car transporter also parked in inside lane.
The transporter belonged to a witness who pulled over in the aftermath of the accident, though it is not known whether they made the call to the police, which was received shortly after 1pm.
A spokesman for South West Ambulance Service said: “The service received a call at 12.38pm and dispatched two rapid response vehicles plus four regular crews to the scene, which amounts to 10 clinicians in total.
“It was a single vehicle road traffic collision and there were three patients admitted.”
Anyone with any information should contact Wiltshire Police on 101.