Motorist who drove wrong way on M40 causing fatal crash was travelling to Gloucestershire, inquest told

A man who died and caused the deaths of two other people by driving the wrong way down the M40 had been on his way to Gloucestershire, an inquest heard.

John Norton, 80, and his 87-year-old partner Olive Howard were both killed as well as former soldier, Stuart Richards, 32, from Stockport, Cheshire after the incident on October 15 last year.

It happened on the northbound carriageway of the M40, near junction six in Lewknor, Oxfordshire, just before 4pm.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7 - Motorist who drove wrong way on M40 causing fatal crash was travelling to Gloucestershire, inquest told

The lead up to the collision on the M40

An inquest into the deaths yesterday heard that Mr Norton had been travelling from High Wycombe to see friends in Slimbridge.

Oxfordshire coroner David Salter said cancer in the brain could have caused a “state of confusion” which led to Mr Norton going the wrong way in his Subaru Forester, which was towing a caravan.

The elderly couple were just a few miles from their home when they crashed into a Ford Mondeo, Birmingham Live reported.

 

Mr Norton was believed to have taken a wrong turning down the M40 motorway in Buckinghamshire and started travelling southbound along the northbound carriageway.

A number of neighbours cited the Oxford services junction on the M40 as confusing and said they believed that was responsible for their crash after they were heading back from a trip to Yorkshire.

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“You can never tell if you’re heading to London or Birmingham” one said.

Dozens of motorists swerved to try to avoid crashing into the car and caravan, many flashing their headlights and blasting their horns.

Mr Salter recorded a conclusion of “road traffic incident in respect of all three deaths.”, the Oxford Mail reported.

 

 

Back to: UK News

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