charged with seven counts of manslaughter over M5 crash deaths
man has been charged with seven counts of manslaughter following
a pile-up on the M5 in Somerset last year.
Counsell, 50, was operating a nearby fireworks display at Taunton
Rugby Club on the night of the collision.
people were killed and 51 injured in the crash involving 34 vehicles.
Crown Prosecution Service said on Friday it had authorised Avon
and Somerset Police to charge Mr Counsell with seven counts of
manslaughter following the deaths of Anthony and Pamela Adams,
Maggie and Michael Barton, Malcolm Beacham, Terry Brice and Kye
Thomas in a collision on the M5 last November.
police spokesman said: "Since the collision we have worked
closely together to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of
the collision and to carefully consider all the evidence. This
has been a complex process which has also involved working with
Taunton Deane Borough Council and seeking the views of expert
considered the evidence in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors,
the Crown Prosecution Service decided
there was sufficient evidence to charge Geoffrey Counsell, the
provider of the fireworks display at Taunton Rugby Club on the
night of the collision, with manslaughter. The charges are due
to his failings in the planning and operation of the display."
was clear from the investigation carried out by Avon and Somerset
Police that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute for driver
error and therefore no action will be taken against any motorists."
Crown Prosecution Service also
considered the culpability of Taunton Rugby Club and reached the
conclusion that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic
prospect of conviction."
Counsell will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Monday November
Friday November 4th 2011, seven people died and 51 people were
injured on the M5 near Taunton following a collision between 34
victims' families are being supported by dedicated family liaison
officers from Avon and Somerset Police and this will continue
throughout the duration of the court proceedings.