Poignant ceremony for relative of M5 death crash tragedy victims

Poignant ceremony for relative of M5 death crash tragedy victims

Francis Batt

Poignant ceremony for relative of M5 death crash tragedy victims
Emma and Chris at the Cosmopolitan ceremony

M5 crash survivor Emma Barton has attended an emotional ceremony at which memorial benches bearing her late father and sister's names were dedicated.

Emma, of Westmead, Windsor, joined other bereaved familes, civic leaders and members of the emergency services as seven benches and a memorial were dedicated by the Archdeacon of Taunton.

Each bench commemorated a victim of the tragic pile-up in Somerset a year ago that claimed the lives of seven people, including Emma's dad Michael and sister Maggie.

The ceremony took place in a park near the accident site.

Picture courtesy of Somerset County Gazette

Only days earlier Emma, 20, and husband Chris, 24, had attended a very different ceremony at London's Victoria and Albert Museum - where they were named winners of Cosmopolitan's Ultimate Love Story award.

Chris was driving the car containing Emma, her dad and sister when it was involved in the horrifying 34 vehicle pile-up in November 2011.

He was injured but Emma was in a coma for a week. He had to break the heartbreaking news about her family when she woke up.

They married this summer at St Andrew's Church, Clewer, with Emma's family's ashes in a casket by the altar.

The Cosmopolitan event was attended by many top stars.

Emma said: "I'm afraid I ended up breaking down onstage. I was very emotional that night.

"The unveiling of the benches was very emotional too. I'm glad I went but it was difficult."

A man was bailed at Bristol Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with seven counts of manslaughter relating to the Somerset pile-up.

Geoffrey Counsell, 50, of Somerset, provided the firework display in a field close to the motorway at Taunton Rugby Club on the day of the crash. He will appear at Bristol Crown Court on December 4.

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