UPDATE: Condolences offered after four die in A39 collision in Cannington (From Somerset County Gazette)
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UPDATE: Condolences offered after four die in A39 collision in Cannington
CONDOLENCES have been offered to families of the four victims who died in a crash on the A39 in Cannington yesterday afternoon (June 5).
A fourth victim has died following a collision involving a VW Passat and a Vauxhall Astra at around 2.30pm yesterday.
Somerset County Council Leader, John Osman, said: “This is a dreadful tragedy and my heartfelt condolences go to the family and friends of all those involved.
“I would also like to pass on my thanks to those members of the emergency services who have worked so hard over the last 24 hours.”
Five people were travelling in the vehicles. A 68-year-old man travelling in the Passat has died. A 73-year-old woman, a 59-year-old woman and a 76-year-old man travelling in the Astra have also died.
Two people died at the scene with three others taken to hospital, two of whom later died. One casualty was airlifted.
Police confirmed the third fatality shortly after 5pm yesterday.
The road has now re-opened after being closed for around six hours while police carried out an investigation.
Officers closed the road both ways between Blackmore Lane and the main road and traffic mounted as drivers have been diverted between Charlynch.
Six ambulances, a doctor, police and firefighters were called to the scene.
Resident Nicola Puddy, who lives near the A39, said she and her neighbours were shocked and upset by the crash.
She said: “I’ve never seen so many emergency vehicles. There is a massive amount of police presence and we’ve seen an RAF helicopter at the scene. Things have quietened down now, but I think it will be some time before the roads will be open.
“My neighbours and I are shocked by it. It’s fairly upsetting to think there have been deaths near your house. My thoughts are with their families. It’s awful.”
Charlynch Road resident Alli Baldwin said she had been stuck in traffic for over an hour and had to walk home with her two dogs while her husband stayed behind. She suggested drivers take alternative routes. She said: “It’s complete gridlock. I was stuck for about an hour, despite living in Charlynch Road.
She said some motorists were becoming angry and recommended people turned off at Splatt Lane to go through Spaxton.
Leathea Stephenson, joint landlady at The Globe Inn, said: “People said they’d seen a helicopter and lots of police and ambulance vehicles in the area.
“The roads have become gridlocked because the main road is closed. People are saying even the back roads are getting very busy."
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Did you witness the accident? Call our newsdesk on the out of hours mobile on 07816-169323 or the newsroom on 01278-727960.
Officers are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the collision to contact the collision investigation unit on 101. Alternatively, call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org