Royal Mail driver died after crash in horrific winter road conditions
A 55-YEAR-OLD lorry driver from Clutton died when he was caught in a freak hail storm on the M5 motorway on a dark winter's night.
An inquest was told Peter Marlow's Royal Mail articulated lorry hit a car that had previously collided with the central reservation in horrific conditions. The truck then slewed across the carriageway and collided with the rear end of another lorry that had stopped on the hard shoulder.
Altogether, three lorries and two cars were involved in the incident on December 13, 2011, when the surface of the motorway in Gloucestershire became like a skating rink.
Mr Marlow, of Tynings, Clutton, was declared dead at the scene after he received serious crush injuries.
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The incident started on the M5 north-bound between Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, junctions 10 and nine, at about 9.30pm.
Daryl Soar said he was driving his Ford Mondeo at about 55mph in heavy driving rain which seemed to be clearing. He was suddenly faced by snow and ice "like a line across all three lanes". He said he did not brake but maintained his speed and his car began to snake on the surface.
He tried to control the slide but the car ended up on the hard shoulder and rolled over a number of times.
He then saw a Vauxhall Astra hit the central reservation and end up facing the wrong way with no lights.
He saw Mr Marlow's red Royal Mail truck go into the Astra, then veer across on to the hard shoulder and hit the rear of a truck that had pulled up.
Expert accident investigator PC Dave Holland said the Vauxhall would have been virtually invisible.
Gloucestershire deputy coroner David Dooley said there could only be one verdict: an accident.