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M62 safety warning after couple die in horror crash
7:00am Friday 27th July 2012 in News
Motorists have been urged to take extra care when driving along the stretch of the M62 that was the scene of a double death crash.
Mark Mchale, 46, who owns a hair salon, and his deputy head teacher wife Tamsie, 43, were killed when their Audi A5 was crushed when an articulated lorry carrying 20 tonnes of charcoal overturned.
The 43-year-old lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released on bail pending further inquiries.
The tragedy happened at 5.50am on Wednesday on the entry slip road to junction 26 of the M62 westbound as the couple, of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, were heading to Manchester Airport for a holiday.
The first fire crew called out to the scene yesterday spoke of the horror faced by firefighters who battled to lift the load off the crushed Audi.
Gary Hatton, watch commander at Cleckheaton station, urged all drivers to adhere to the 50mph speed limit on the M62 while roadworks were in place because the lanes were down to legal minimum widths.
Mr Hatton said: “People need to stick to 50mph as it is there for a reason. The lanes are very narrow and people have got to be aware.
“This is one of the worst crashes we have seen and we couldn’t see the vehicle before we lifted the trailer off it.” Mr Hatton’s warning was last night reinforced by the Highways Agency.
Its spokesman said: “Safety of road users and construction workers is the number one priority for Highways Agency. We most certainly concur with the fire brigade view that speed limits are for the safety of motorists and are part of safety measures put in place during the construction of the M62 managed motorway scheme.”
West Yorkshire Police said it would not be making any comment about the safety of that stretch of motorway while investigations were ongoing.
Parents of pupils at Durham Gilesgate Primary School, where Mrs Mchale worked, were informed by letter yesterday about the tragedy.
Head teacher Mark Turner said she was a dedicated and inspirational teacher.
The lorry driver, of North East Lincolnshire, who has not been named, was taken to hospital for minor injuries and released after treatment.
Sergeant Garry Alderson, of the Major Collision Enquiry Team, said: “We are conducting a full collision investigation at the scene and obviously this will take time given the seriousness of the incident.
“Following on from my appeal yesterday, I would ask anyone who saw the incident or either of the vehicles described shortly beforehand to contact the Major Collision Enquiry Team on (01924) 293047 as well as anyone who witnessed the immediate aftermath to get in touch.”