M5 death crash lorry driver is named


The driver of a lorry that crashed into the back of a stationary bus carrying a party of fruit-packers on the M5 was named today.

William Mapstone, 65, from Wells in Somerset, died shortly after 9pm on Saturday at a Birmingham hospital following the accident which left one bus passenger dead and another critically ill.

The bus passenger has also been named as father-of-three Liaquat Ali, 35, from Smethwick.

Mr Ali was confirmed dead at the scene of the crash, which happened in the early hours of Saturday when the lorry collided with the single-decker bus near junction three of the M5 at Halesowen.

The driver of the bus, which was reported to have broken down amid thick fog in a “live” lane of the M5 near Frankley Services, remains on bail after being arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following the crash, West Midlands Police said today.

Mr Mapstone was en route from Manchester to Devon when his Volvo vehicle struck the single-decker bus, West Midlands Police said.

The force has confirmed the bus was carrying a party of fruit-packers.

The lorry driver's family paid tribute to him today in a statement released by West Midlands Police.

They said: "Our dad was tragically taken away from us while doing the job he so very much loved.

"We would very much like to thank the people who helped both us and Dad through such a tragic time, including all the emergency services that attended the scene to help Dad on the motorway to try and save him."

Mr Ali's family paid tribute to "a loving husband" and father.

They said: "Liaquat was the loving husband of Fozia Shaheen and was the father of two sons and a daughter - Shafqat Ali, aged nine, Mohammed Owais Ali, aged two, and Kashish Eman, aged six.

"He will be dearly missed by his family and friends and also leaves behind three brothers."

Both families are being supported by family liaison officers and have asked that they are given privacy to deal with their loss, West Midlands Police said today.

The driver of the bus, a 49-year-old Birmingham man who has not been named, remains on bail in connection with the incident. No-one has been charged with any offences at this stage, a force spokesman said.

A 28-year-old man from Smethwick, who was also a passenger on the bus, remains in a critical condition in hospital, the spokesman added.

The Central Motorway Police Group was alerted to the crash at 6.24am on Saturday and emergency crews treated more than 20 bus passengers, who were being driven from Birmingham to the Evesham area of Worcestershire.

The southbound M5 was closed for around eight hours and a detailed investigation into the cause of the collision was launched.

Today, West Midlands Police said the investigation was likely to take some time.

Inspector Mark Watkins, from the Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Officers continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fatal collision on the M5.

“Inquiries centre on the weather conditions at the time of the collision and how the bus came to be stationary in the carriageway.

“Officers are keen to speak to anyone who saw the bus travelling along the M5 prior to the collision.”

Anyone who witnessed the accident is urged to contact West Midlands Police.

The force said a dedicated hotline set up for concerned relatives following the incident has now been closed.


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