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Two die and one arrested as Launceston and Bodmin crashes close Cornwall's A30

By CMScott  |  Posted: December 22, 2013

By Scott Hamilton

  • Police at the scene of the fatal incident on the A30 near Launceston.

  • The crash near Launceston brought traffic chaos to the town.

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LATEST UPDATE: Police have now issued an appeal for witnesses to the day’s second fatal collision on the A30.

Six vehicles were involved in “multiple collisions on both carriageways” near Bolventor, a few miles east of Bodmin, shortly after midday, say police.

The driver of one of three vehicles that collided on the eastbound carriageway was pronounced dead at scene.

Officers are in the process of identifying their next of kin.

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Two occupants of another eastbound vehicle were taken by Devon Air Ambulance to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. The extent of their injuries is not yet known.

No one was injured when three other vehicles collided on the westbound carriageway.

Devon and Cornwall Police say the eastbound carriageway will continue to be closed for some time but the westbound carriageway is due to be reopened shortly.

The Highways Agency put on diversions to ensure traffic could keep moving locally but delays were experienced due to the earlier collision on the A30 near Launceston.

The central reservation was damaged and is being repaired by the Highways Agency before the road is safe to be reopened.

No-one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Sergeant Olly Tayler, senior investigating officer, said: “Both carriageways were closed due to the serious nature of the collision and the horrendous weather conditions.

“We understand it has caused some disruption for motorists, particularly as it is a busy weekend prior to Christmas.

“Please be reassured officers and the other emergency services have been working as quickly as possible in these very difficult circumstances.

“The investigation into what caused the collision continues but one line of enquiry is that there was an unexpected exceptional weather event that happened at the time of the collisions in the form of a hail storm.

“Motorists are reminded to drive according to the conditions they are faced with on the roads, particularly with the weather forecast over the next few days.”

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call police on 101 quoting log 384 of 22/12/13.

UPDATE 6.30pm: Police have revealed details of the road traffic collision on the A30 near Launceston that saw a pedestrian killed after he was hit by a van and two cars.

Devon and Cornwall Police say a 38-year-old man – who has not yet been formally identified was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man is believed to have been standing on the eastbound carriageway when he was hit by three vehicles.

The male driver of a white Peugeot Boxer van, registered to St Columb Major, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and interviewed by police.

The 50-year-old local man was released on police bail until March 12.

The two other vehicles involved were a blue Peugeot 106, registered to Launceston, and a white Mercedes Sprinter van registered to Newton Abbot, say police.

Paramedics treated the female driver of the Peugeot 106 and both male van drivers for shock.

Both carriageways of the A30 carriageways were both closed while officers from the Serious Collisions Investigation Unit and a body recovery team worked at the scene.

They were kept shut while a fatal injury investigation was carried out. Police are still examining the circumstances that led to the collision.

The westbound carriageway was reopened at around 1pm and the eastbound carriageway was due to reopen at around 6.30pm.

Sergeant Jane Corkhill, from the Serious Collisions Investigation Unit in Plymouth, said: “This was a very challenging and horrific scene for everyone involved. Officers and staff dealing with the collision have been working in incredibly difficult circumstances and have been offered support for dealing with the upsetting nature of this incident.”

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call police on 101 quoting log 0218 of 22/12/13.

An incident near Bodmin where another person died following two separate crashes is still ongoing, say police.

4.10pm

Two people are believed to have died in three separate incidents on the A30 today that has led to Cornwall’s main arterial route being closed entirely between Bodmin and Launceston.

At around 6am this morning one person died in an horrific incident on the A30 between the Launceston and A388 Lifton turn.

The incident involved a pedestrian and four cars according to people at the scene.

The situation led to Devon and Cornwall Police immediately closing the A30 both ways and setting up a diversion around the area.

Police officers were also making attempts to contact the dead person’s next of kin.

Two other collisions on the A30 near the Jamaica Inn Road on Bodmin Moor closed the A30 20 miles west of first crash.

The first, at about 09.30am involved two vehicles. The second, at about 12.10pm, between the A389 Bodmin junction and the A395 Trethorne junction, was declared a major incident and it is believed – although this has not been confirmed – that a person involved in this incident died.

A fire service spokesman said they were alerted to the second Bodmin incident just after noon: "A further call from the police declared it as a Major Incident."

Cornwall Fire and Rescue sent crews from Bodmin, Launceston and Callington to the scene.

These were joined with rescue tenders from Bodmin and Camborne supported by the Command Support Unit from Launceston.

Firefighters used crash rescue equipment at the scene to release casualties and ensuring scene safety. Both South West Ambulance Service and Cornwall Air Ambulance were called to the scene.

An update at 2pm said firefighters were returning to their stations but it is understood the road is still closed as police continue their investigations at both sites.

The closures led to traffic chaos in Launceston as last minute shoppers met huge Christmas getaway tailbacks.

Current diversions start at Carminnow Cross west of Bodmin for eastbound vehicles and at Exeter for westbound vehicles as traffic is funelled onto the A38.

In the last hour there have also been reports of a crash on A38 at Carkeel near Saltash although this is not thought to have closed the road.

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2 comments

  • KernowCarl  |  December 22 2013, 5:32PM

    Not sure about the Launceston A30 crash, which sounds very odd: A pedestrian and four vehicles at 6am on a Sunday morning? The Bolventor crashes were probably due to hail, which falls and lies quite frequently on the higher sections of the A30 and for which few people slow down. Drivers do not appear to show any initiative in while driving in hail, which can be like driving on ball bearings.

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  • t_i_p  |  December 22 2013, 5:17PM

    Good job Devon & Cornwall (&dorset) police have a resilient roads policing unit keeping the roads safe....rip

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