A grandfather has described the moment his family were forced to flee a burning car on the side of the M5
Traffic came to a halt on the M5 northbound on Sunday afternoon (October 7) as crews tackled a vehicle fire.
The blaze ignited between Junction 21 (Weston-super-Mare) and 20 (Clevedon), shutting two of three lanes in the northbound carriageway and caused heavy traffic.
While the southbound carriageway remained open, smoke could be seen pouring from the burning vehicle on the opposite side of the motorway.
Rob McEwen, a grandfather from Southport, told Somerset Live how his family were travelling home after a holiday.
He said the family could smell smoke issuing from the vehicle and were forced to flee the burning Vauxhall Meriva.
“The family in the car were my daughter, her partner and eight-month-old and three-year-old daughters”, he recalled.
“They were returning home to Yorkshire after a family holiday in Cornwall when they smelled smoke coming from the engine compartment of the car and immediately pulled onto the hard shoulder.
“As they did and started to abandon the vehicle and get the children out, flames erupted from the engine and quickly engulfed the car.
He said police and fire service quickly attended but were unable to save the vehicle which contained all the belongings taken with them for their holiday.
Robert travelled from Southport on Sunday to collect his daughter and grandchildren and take them all home.
He paid tribute to the emergency services and Highways Agency for the care and support they gave at the scene and for taking his family to Gordano services where the children could be fed.
He added: “My daughter said they were all fantastic.
“I would also like to thank other motorists for their patience whilst the incident was dealt with.”
After the fire was extinguished, the vehicle remained on the hard shoulder while recovery was arranged.
All lanes were re-opened at around 4.15pm and congestion slowly started to ease.
Highways England confirmed that the South Western Ambulance Service was not called and nobody was injured in the blaze.
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