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Two killed as driver parked in the fast lane

Jailed: James Davies,
71, was sentenced
to two years for
causing the deaths
of his partner and
her friend PICTURE: SWNS

A DRIVER caused the death of two passengers after he parked in a motorway fast lane and went to ask for directions.

James Davies, 71, got lost in a diversion on the northbound M42 as he was heading to Birmingham airport.

He stopped in the fast lane, put on the hazard lights, and clambered over the central reservation to ask workmen on the opposite carriageway directions.

Died: Passengers Ms Evans and Ms Jones (below)

But a van ploughed into his car, killing his partner Christine Evans, 53, and her friend, pub landlady Barbara Jones, 63. Ms Jones’s partner Gareth Isaac escaped with minor injuries in the crash near Kingsbury, Warwickshire.

Davies, of Welshpool, Powys, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for two years four months at Warwick crown court.

Highways Agency worker Jake Ashmore was horrified when Davies approached his vehicle at 3am on January 5. ‘It was obvious the defendant had parked in the fast lane of the northbound carriageway and crossed the central reservation and the closed southbound carriageway to the Highways vehicle,’ prosecutor Simon Davis told the court.

Motorway: There were diversions on the section of the M42 motorway when Davies stopped his car in the fast lane to ask for directions

‘Mr Ashmore, recognising the danger, ordered the defendant to move his car. He got out of his vehicle and took two to three steps towards the car with the defendant. But within two to three seconds he saw a white van collide with the rear of the defendant’s vehicle.’

Three other cars had to swerve to avoid hitting Davies’s car.

■ TWO men have died after a car hit them while they assisted a motorist involved in an earlier accident. The victims, aged 25 and 54, were helping the driver of an overturned car on the A20 at Swanley, Kent, when a Mercedes collided with them at 11am on Tuesday. Seven vehicles were involved in the fatal pile-up on the London-bound carriageway, closing the road for 12 hours as police investigated. Six people were injured. Police have called for witnesses.