Five killed as cars are crushed in gales

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The Independent Online
FIVE people died yesterday and one was seriously injured when their cars were crushed by lorries and trees blown over in gales.

Edwin Pearson, 43, and his son Steven, 17, from Wigton, Cumbria, were killed on the A596, west of Carlisle. The driver of the lorry that fell on to their car, Harry Robinson, from Carlisle, was treated for shock and minor injuries at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

In Shropshire a 20-year-old woman from Swindon, Wiltshire, died on the A41 Newport bypass and a 37-year-old man from Cannock, Staffordshire, was seriously hurt when a trailer hit their cars. In Scotland a man and his wife died when a tree crashed on to their car on the A8 near Gogar, Lothian. Two children in the vehicle escaped serious injury.

As gusts up to 65mph and heavy rain hit the country, high-sided vehicles were banned from the trans-Pennine A66 and the M9 Stirling-Perth motorway. Six lorries were toppled on the M6.

In Glasgow three car passengers escaped with minor injuries when high winds blew down a derelict building in Millerston Street.

Hundreds of homes in the Lake District were left without electricity after falling trees brought down power lines. Rail passengers were left stranded when gusts toppled overhead cables on the East Coast main line.

Temperatures in Scotland reached 12C - six or seven degrees above the seasonal norm and ten degrees higher than during blizzards earlier this week, increasing the risk of flooding from melted snow. Temperatures are set to fall, with some snow on hills.

Forecasters said the winds were expected to ease overnight, although the weekend would remain windy and wet.

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