London News & Search
A hero who rushed to the aid of a young girl who was critically injured in yesterday’s M1 horror pile-up has described how the scene looked like a “war zone”.
Eight people died and three others – a man, a woman and the five-year-old girl – are now fighting for their lives in hospital after the devastating crash on the motorway near Newport Pagnell. A fourth person was taken to hospital with less serious injuries.
Among those killed were six men and two women who were in the minibus when it was crushed between two lorries in the smash, which happened between junctions 14 and 15.
Brett Smith, 36, was travelling home from a night out in a taxi when they saw the devastating scene on Saturday morning.
He said he saw “blood everywhere” as he rushed over to help the seriously injured five-year-old girl.
Mr Smith told the Sun: “I heard crying.
“I could see her face to face. I still see her now when I close my eyes.”
He added she was trapped underneath a seat and screaming. “I was getting her to hold my hand and my arm,” he said.
Mr Smith said he had given his jacket to the child to keep her warm, and streamed a live video of himself onto Facebook minutes after leaving the crash scene.
He said: “There’s been a severe accident where a family has been destroyed, and I held a little girl by her arms, trapped inside a vehicle for a good hour or so with the emergency services, the fire service, trying to help get her out.”
Some of those on board the minibus, which carried the branding for ABC Travels, run by Cyriac Joseph, were visiting the UK from India.
The drivers of the two lorries were arrested in connection with the incident in Buckinghamshire.
A passer-by who stopped his journey home to help assist a young girl trapped in the minibus, said he had given his jacket to the child to keep her warm.
A 31-year-old man from Worcestershire was arrested on suspicion of one count of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of drink-driving.
A 53-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent is also in custody, on suspicion of one count of causing death by dangerous driving.
It is thought the minibus had travelled from the Nottingham area, Thames Valley Police (TVP) said.
Chief Inspector Henry Parsons from TVP’s joint operations unit for roads policing, said: “The scene facing the officers who attended was complex and the recovery operation which followed was challenging.
“Tragically eight people lost their lives, with four further people seriously injured, and it is our duty to establish the circumstances of what happened.
“Officers are working to inform the next of kin of the people who died and specially-trained family liaison officers will be offering them their support. Some of those involved were visiting the UK from India and we are working to keep families abroad informed.
“This collision was deeply distressing for the members of the public who witnessed it, along with the emergency service workers who attended and displayed high levels of professionalism.”
Emergency services were called shortly before 3.15am on Saturday and the road was closed until the early afternoon to allow recovery work to take place.
Pictures of the vehicles appeared to show a FedEx lorry with its cab crushed and the cab of an AIM Logistics lorry twisted around to the side.
Another image showed what appeared to be the crumpled wreckage of the minibus on the back of a flatbed truck.
Broken glass and debris from the collision was scattered across the tarmac.
Ismail Elmagdoub, director of AIM Logistics, said: “One of our vehicles was involved in a serious incident on the M1 southbound, junction 14 this morning at approximately 3am.
“We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the families who have lost loved ones and also those whom have been injured at this very sad time.
“Road safety and compliance is of the utmost importance to AIM Logistics and we are continuing to assist the police as much as possible with their inquiries.”
Anyone with information, to call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police inquiry centre on 101, quoting URN URN 203 of August 26.
A spokesman for FedEx said: “We are aware of the tragic accident that occurred last night on the M1 motorway, junction 14 in the UK with a FedEx truck involved. Our deepest thoughts and concerns are with all of those involved.
“Safety is of the utmost importance to FedEx, and we are co-operating fully with authorities but have no further information at this time.”
Additional reporting by Press Association.
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