Bristol

Somerset M5 wrong-way crash woman 'drunk'

  • 21 November 2013
  • From the section Bristol
Zoe Aspland
Zoe Aspland, 30, of Yeovil, was a mother of five children

A woman who was killed in a crash while driving the wrong way on the M5 had consumed a "significant" amount of alcohol, an inquest has heard.

Zoe Aspland, 30, of Yeovil, was more than three times over the limit when her car collided at high speed with four others near Weston-super-Mare.

She suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The coroner said he was "satisfied" that not one of the other drivers could have taken "any different action".

The court was told Ms Aspland was driving at 60mph (97 km/h) and straddling two lanes before the first crash.

Ms Aspland, a senior care assistant and mother-of-five, was driving home to Yeovil when her Ford Ka, which initially did not have its headlights switched on, hit a parked car in Worle in Weston-super-Mare.

'Sheer horror'

Avon Coroner's Court heard she then drove through two no entry signs before heading the wrong way along a dual carriageway towards the M5.

Taking the slip road on to the southbound carriageway, she then headed straight towards oncoming vehicles.

The multiple crashes caused Ms Aspland to be thrown backwards and out of her rear windscreen.

In his narrative conclusion, assistant deputy coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said the "deceased had consumed a significant amount of alcohol".

"It is very difficult to imagine what must have been sheer horror for those drivers and passengers travelling along the south bound carriageway when they saw firstly headlamps approaching them on their carriageway," he said.

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