Paddy Ashdown car crash: Former Lib Dem leader involved in accident which killed a 49-year-old man

Lord Ashdown said he was left ‘very upset’ after being involved in fatal incident

The former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown has been involved in a fatal car accident in which one man was killed and another injured.

The former Royal Marine said he and his wife were “very upset” after the three-vehicle collision on 24 January claimed the life of 49-year-old Mark Hurford, from Crewkerne.

Lord Ashdown and his wife, who was driving their Renault Scenic at the time, were unharmed but shaken in the incident on a country road not far from their home in Somerset.

Mr Hurford was driving a Vauxhall Corsa at the time, and according to reports in the Daily Telegraph “clipped” the Ashdown’s car while going round a bend.

A Ford Transit was the third vehicle involved in the crash on the reportedly notoriously dangerous stretch of the A356. A 29-year-old passenger riding in the van was taken to Yeovil District Hospital after suffering a dislocated shoulder and back injuries.

Lord Ashdown described how after the crash he “immediately stopped traffic coming from the other direction” and went over to check Mr Hurford for a pulse. He was dead by the time the peer reached him.

“My wife felt shocked. The police and ambulance turned up and we spent the next two hours going through the procedures that you have to have,” he said.

Lord Ashdown said he had got in touch with Mr Hurford's family to offer his condolences after the crash.

“I spoke to his wife over the weekend and expressed my condolences,” he said. “My wife and I are very upset for the other family.”

Avon and Somerset Police said it was appealing for witnesses to the collision which occurred at Turnpike Cross on the A356, between the A303 and Crewkerne, just after 5pm on Friday 24 January.

Investigating officer PC Andy Grigg asked for anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the vehicles beforehand to call the Collision Investigation Unit via the non-emergency number 101.