A man and three women, all believed to be in their early 20s, were killed instantly in the crash involving three cars, and a girl aged about 18 died later in Bristol Royal Infirmary. The boy has head injuries and a 39-year-old woman suffered a neck injury and broken legs. Both were taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath after being cut from the wreckage.
On Saturday, a 35-year-old man and his nine-week-old son were killed when their Vaux hall Cavalier was in a pile-up involving 20 vehicles on the M42 near Bromsgrove, Hereford and Worcester.
They were Andrew and Christopher Stokes from Camberley, Surrey. The mother Anne, 30, suffered cuts, bruises and shock. Their 18-month-old son, Andrew, was taken to the Alexander Hospital in Redditch and later transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital, where he was in a critical condition with head injuries.
Sergeant Peter Williams, of the Central Motorway Police Group, said the M42 accident, involving 19 cars and a lorry, appeared to have been caused by one vehicle losing control.
'After the initial accident, vehicles kept piling into the backs of others,' he said.
'The Cavalier was virtually run over by another vehicle. It was totally destroyed - it's a wonder anyone got out alive.'
The motorway was closed between junctions 1 and 2 for six hours after the accident, which happened at about 8.15pm.
Last night Mike Shore, 41, landlord of the Plough Inn, near to the spot on the A39 in Somerset where five died, said: 'The fact that so many people can be killed in one go is frightening and it has affected us all . . .'
British Rail launched an investigation after 12 passengers were injured when a stationary train was hit by another at Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, yesterday morning.