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M5 stretch shut for five hours as man found dead near Great Barr

By Megan Archer | West Bromwich | News | Published:

A stretch of the M5 was closed for around six hours after a man's body was found under a bridge.

Traffic queuing on the M5 this morning. Photo: SnapperSK

Leonard Lowe, known as Terry, is believed to have been struck by a vehicle on the northbound carriageway near the Newton Road bridge near Great Barr at around 7am today, police said.

The death of the 59-year-old from Wednesbury is not being treated as suspicious but officers have yet to identify the vehicle involved.

Police said it is unclear if the driver would be aware of what happened and are asking for anyone who was travelling on the motorway, near to the M6 split, and has any information or dash cam footage to contact them.

In a statement Mr Lowe’s family said: "Terry was the most fun-loving and caring person, a devoted family man and the best husband, father and grandad we could wish for.

"We are devastated by his loss, our lives will be empty without him. We ask that our privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Sergeant Alan Hands, from the serious collision investigation unit, said: "Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Lowe at this terrible time.

"We believe it is likely to be a large vehicle involved in the collision and it’s unclear if the driver knew what happened.

"We need to identify the driver, vehicle, and anyone who saw what happened to help us to establish the full circumstances."

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Contact investigators at FL_COLLISION_INVEST@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk, via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight, or call 101. Quote log 455 of 7/2/20.

The motorway was fully closed northbound from Junction 1 at West Bromwich to the end of the motorway at the M6 until around 11.30am, when one lane opened northbound.

Police at the scene near where the man was found. Photo: SnapperSK

The link arm from the M5 north to the M6 south did not reopen until just before 1pm and drivers faced long delays as a result.

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Meanwhile there were delays of two house on the M6 northbound due to a crane breaking down and overnight roadworks near Stafford not being cleared as a result.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "We're investigating after a man's body was found on the M5 under a bridge at around 7am today.

"The motorway iss closed northbound from Junction 1 to the M6, and delays are expected. The death is being treated as unexplained."

Traffic queuing on the M5 this morning. Photo: SnapperSK

Highways England encouraged drivers to find alternative routes or allow "plenty of extra time", with investigation work set to continue throughout the morning.

The following diversion information was issued: "Diverted traffic should follow the hollow square symbol.

"Exit the M5 northbound at Junction 1 and take the second exit onto the A41 westbound. Continue until the roundabout with the A4031 (All Saints Way).

"Turn right onto the A4031 northbound and continue until the junction with the A4041. Join the A4041 northbound and continue until the crossroads with the A34 (Scott Arms).

"Turn left onto the A34 northbound and then join the M6 at the Junction 7 interchange."

A West Midlands Ambulance spokesman said: “We were called by the police to the M5 in Great Barr this morning. Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene. Sadly, nothing could be done to save a man and he was confirmed dead on scene.”

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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