Inquests of M5 crash victims adjourned indefinitely

PUBLISHED: 13:50 17 June 2020

Joanne Jennings and Rod Walsh died on September 24, 2018. Pictures: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Joanne Jennings and Rod Walsh died on September 24, 2018. Pictures: Avon and Somerset Constabulary


The inquests of two victims who were killed in a crash on the M5 have been adjourned indefinitely following criminal prosecution.

Joanne Jennings, aged 45 of Highbridge, was one of two victims of a fatal crash between junction 24 and junction 25 (Taunton) of the motorway’s southbound carriageway on September 13, 2018.

Rod Walsh, aged 54 of Cheddar, also died in the same accident involving a lorry and multiple cars.

Senior coroner for Somerset, Tony Williams, pronounced indefinite adjournments of both inquests today (June 17).

Post-mortem reports confirmed Joanne died from a head injury and Rod of chest injuries.

Following a guilty plea, lorry driver William Cater, aged 48 and of Lawrence Road in Cirencester, was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court on June 4 to 35 months imprisonment on two charges of having caused death by dangerous driving and two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

In circumstances where there has been a public airing of the facts surrounding someone’s death,inquests are only resumed if the corner feels there is sufficient reason to do so. Mr Williams was satisfied the criminal proceedings were an adequate hearing of the facts surrounding the deaths.

Mr Williams liaised with both victim’s families who confirmed they were content to announce indefinite adjournments of both inquests.

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