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Dr Jekyll
5th Apr 2002, 14:29
Last week there was carnage on the M4 after somebody left a service area in the wrong direction and drove the wrong way down the carriageway. Oncoming cars scattered in panic, lorries swerved onto the hard shoulder, the police were deluged with calls from hundreds of witnesses.

Finally, after 4 miles the inevitable head on collision occured.

The police then closed the M4 for 6 hours, causing enormous congestion in the process, in order to 'establish the cause of the accident'!

As Terry Wogan would say (and probably did), is it me?

Grainger
5th Apr 2002, 14:59
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Leaving the Services the wrong way takes some doing :rolleyes:

Konkordski
5th Apr 2002, 15:00
How did you find out that this unfortunate person left a service area and drove down the M4 in the wrong direction...

...er, could it be because the police closed the motorway and carried out an investigation into the incident which, I dare say, probably wasn't a pleasant job.

Maybe you should put any thoughts you have on speeding up accident investigation to the NTSB and AAIB. :rolleyes:

Dr Jekyll
5th Apr 2002, 20:04
The 'unfortunate person' (!) was seen by witnesses to leave the service area in the wrong direction, the fact that he was driving the wrong way was obvious to other road users, not least the genuinely unfortunate person he hit head on.

What on earth could anyone expect to learn by closing the motorway for 6 hours? I don't have a problem with accident investigators taking as long as necessary, I do have a problem with accidents apparently being used as an excuse to inconvenience the innocent.

Kalium Chloride
6th Apr 2002, 10:04
Instead of looking at this from the advantageous point of knowing (now) what happened, look at it from the point of view of the police -- who, despite your apparent doubt, I'm sure don't shut motorways for a laugh.

If you came across the aftermath of a motorway accident, not having seen it, would the chain of events be obvious to you? Was it a burst tyre? Technical malfunction with the type of car involved? A wild animal startling a driver? Speeding and driving too close?

Perhaps those who were close enough to see the accident but managed to avoid it didn't stick around to get caught in the subsequent six-hour jam -- bang go your key witnesses. If they were ever reliable in the first place.

Sure, there might have been some witnesses in the service area. But how are the police supposed to guess that the driver came out of the service area? Grainger is spot-on -- it "takes some doing" to cause an accident this way, so it's hardly going to be the first scenario under consideration by the cops is it?

Remember the corporate jet that came down in BHX a short while back? Professional witnesses all around the place, flight-recorders quickly recovered...and how long was the runway kept shut? 48 hours?

Your motorway crash had no data recorders and no highly-qualified eyewitnesses. Motorway open in six hours? Sounds like you got off lightly. ;)