Two women killed as lorry overturns on M4 amid high winds and rain from Storm Babet

20 October 2023, 17:40 | Updated: 20 October 2023, 22:34

The crash caused huge tailbacks
The crash caused huge tailbacks. Picture: National Highways

By Kit Heren

Two women were killed when lorry overturned on the M4 on Friday amid high winds and rain from Storm Babet.

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The heavy goods vehicle was involved in a collision with four other cars on Friday morning on the M4, which links London and south Wales, via Bristol.

Two women were killed and several others required treatment for minor injuries. The cause of the crash remains unclear.

The motorway was closed in both directions between Bath and Chippenham - junctions 17 and 18 - from about 9.10 on Friday morning. One lane on the westbound carriageway reopened that evening.

Gloucestershire Police said earlier "Emergency services are currently in attendance at a serious collision on the M4. The collision happened just inside the Wiltshire border between Junction 17 Chippenham and Junction 18 Bath at approximately 9.10am.

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The M4 closed after the crash
The M4 closed after the crash. Picture: Alamy

"Multiple vehicles are involved, including an HGV. The M4 is closed in both directions at Junction 17 while emergency services are in attendance.

"Due to the nature of the collision and the vehicles involved, this closure is likely to remain in place for some time. Drivers should avoid the area if possible. Anyone with information should call 101 and quote log number 93 of today."

Wiltshire Police said later: "Following the collision on the M4 this morning, a full closure remains in place between junctions 17 and 18.

"We hope to open the westbound carriageway as soon as possible, however the eastbound carriageway will remain closed well into this evening.

"Please plan your journey ahead if you would normally travel this route. Thank you."

It comes as Storm Babet wreaks havoc across much of the country, with heavy winds and rain disrupting travel for many.

Several major roads have been closed, rail lines blocked and flights grounded by the severe weather.

The extreme conditions meant all railway lines running through Swindon, close to where the crash took place, were blocked, as well as several routes across northern England, the Midlands and North Wales.

Some drivers on social media said the road conditions on the M4 on Friday were "horrendous" with significant surface water and spray reducing visibility.