October 24th, 2016

Man killed after being hit by car on M40, trial hears

Man killed after being hit by car on M40, trial hears Man killed after being hit by car on M40, trial hears
Updated: 8:23 am, Oct 03, 2015

A CAR enthusiast was killed when he was hit by a BMW after getting out of his wrecked car which had been sent spinning into a barrier on the M40 following a collision with a lorry.

Alex Butwell, whose two passengers had taken refuge behind the barrier following the crash on the motorway, died after he was thrown 45 metres by the force of the impact.

And a jury at Warwick Crown Court has been told both the driver of the artic which shunted Mr Butwell’s VW Polo across the carriageway and the BMW driver were to blame for his death.

HGV driver George Carr (63) has pleaded not guilty to causing Mr Butwell’s death by dangerous driving.

And BMW driver Donald Corrigan (67) of Butt Lane, Allesley, has denied causing the 25-year-old’s death by driving without due care and attention.

Prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski said in the early hours of Sunday, March 23 a group of enthusiasts began their journey to a car show at the Santa Pod raceway in Northamptonshire.

Mr Butwell, from Oldbury, was in his white VW Polo with his girlfriend Rachel Crawford in the front passenger seat and a friend, Ashley Gibson, in the back.

They met up with other enthusiasts at Warwick Services on the M40, and left in a convoy of about 11 vehicles, with Mr Butwell at the head, around 4.40am.

The convoy was travelling in the first lane of the motorway at the same time as Carr was driving his artic to make a delivery in Banbury.

All the vehicles in the convoy had their lights on, and Carr’s lorry had its lights on as he approached them on an unlit section of the motorway.

He passed the majority of the convoy, but then began to pull in to lane one and the passenger step of the cab struck the rear of the car.

Mr Butwell attempted to speed up but the Polo was bumped again and got dragged in front of the lorry before being shunted down the motorway.

The lorry then jettisoned the Polo into the central barrier, Mr Kolodynski told the court.

The Polo ended up with its back end touching the barrier and the front extending two-thirds of the way into the third lane, as Carr drove off.

But one of Mr Butwell’s friends eventually got him to stop, while the rest of the convoy pulled onto the hard shoulder with their hazard lights on.

Donald Corrigan had left his home around 4.30am the same morning to travel to Heathrow Airport.

Once on the M40 he set his cruise control to 77mph and spent most of his time in lane 2.

Not long after he passed Warwick Services, he noticed the hazard lights, moved from the middle lane to lane three, cancelled his cruise control and began to slow down.

But he failed to spot the Polo and his vehicle struck it, also hitting Mr Butwell.

The trial continues.