‘Disrespectful’ bystanders who took snaps for social media at site of Leeds M1 crash that left couple in their 80s fighting for their lives are condemned by The Highway viewers
- The first episode focused partly on a crash on the M1 Southbound near Leeds
- Crash site became a viewing platform for people photographing the wreckage
- Social media users moved quickly to condemn those snapping the crash site
Channel 5’s new show The Motorway has left viewers with more respect than ever for the country’s traffic workers, but also revealed the dark side of the aftermath of accidents.
The show which aired last night won praised from viewers who said they didn’t realise how much work it takes to maintain the 200-mile stretch of road between London and Leeds.
Cameras also showed the devastation after a car spun into the roadside barriers, leaving two people in their 80s fighting for their lives on a busy bank holiday weekend.
A crew stationed inside the Highways England control room near Leeds led by Marissa Broadbent were left trying to deal with the traffic that was backing up at a rate of 200 cars per minute.
As well as facing a six-hour closure on the M1 southbound on Junction 41 and a possible 20,000 cars to reroute, Marissa was distressed when she noticed people taking pictures of the scene from a bridge directly over the crash site.
‘Social media is out and about, they’ve already posted tweets immediately after it’s happened,’ she said to a colleague.
Towards the top end of the road in the north of England, near Leeds, a dark truth was revealed after a road traffic collision left two people in their 80s fighting for their lives (scene pictured)
She then directed West Yorkshire Police towards the handful of individuals.
A colleague said that the people ‘need to get a life’ after spotting that one even reversed their white BMW on the flyover so they could get out and look.
‘If that was my mum in that accident, I wouldn’t want a stranger taking pictures of it and posting it on social media, what’s all that about?’ Marissa said during a candid piece to camera.
She added: ‘I just don’t get the mindset of someone wanting to intrude on someone’s most vulnerable moments and putting it on social media. It’s beyond my head.’
A camera crew stationed inside the Highways England control room near Leeds introduced us to Marissa Broadbent (shown) and her team trying to deal with the traffic caused by the crash
Marissa looks distressed when she notices people taking pictures of the scene from a bridge (shown) directly over the crash, with one person even reversing their car to get a better look
Reflecting on it as she sits at her desk, she said: ‘You get an road traffic collision and you have people on the bridge taking pictures and you’ve got to deal with them, it’s just like, what?’
People agreed with Marissa’s sentiment about taking photos of crash scenes and took to Twitter to blast the individuals.
‘It’s disrespectful taking pictures of accidents and putting it in social media, it’s someone’s family and they should have more sense and show respect,’ wrote one person.
People agreed with Marissa’s sentiment about taking photos of crash scenes and took to Twitter to blast the individuals, calling the act ‘disrespectful’
‘Yes some of it maybe useful to help the police but mostly disrespectful,’ another person agreed.
Another, a HGV driver, said he sees the phenomenon ‘far too often’ while a woman added that it makes her ‘blood boil’.
Because the accident happened between an exit and entry slip on the motorway, Marissa was able to get some of the traffic moving again with an ‘up and over’ manoeuvre.
After four hours of closures Marissa’s shift ends with her saying she does sometimes ‘just want to get home,’ but her team (pictured) ‘get me through’ the mentally taxing days
However, she couldn’t reopen the actual motorway because of a police investigation.
After four hours of closures Marissa’s shift ended with her saying she does sometimes ‘just want to get home,’ but her team ‘get me through’ the mentally taxing days.
‘Isn’t that lovely? That you can rely on a group of people like that,’ she said.
Six hours after the crash the M1 reopened, relieving the two-mile long tailbacks. Both casualties also survived.
Seeing the efforts of the team in the control room and on the ground, people also took to Twitter to show their appreciation.
Seeing the efforts of the team in the control room and on the ground, people also took to Twitter to show their appreciation for the Highways England staff
‘I’ve just watched the motorway on Channel 5, very interesting I didn’t know how much your job entails! Big respect to you,’ wrote one person, tagging Highways England in their tweet.
Another person added that they were ‘enthralled’ by the show, saying: ‘Anyone else watching The Motorway on channel 5? I flipping love a good transport based documentary! I’m enthralled.’
‘#TheMotorway well done to the control room staff awesome,’ penned an appreciative third person.
The documentary series about the M1 airs every Monday on Channel 5 at 9pm.
Amanda Murray, executive producer at Fearless Television, who made the show, said: ‘The series shines a light on the complexities of managing one of Britain’s most important motorways and shows the often-heroic actions of an unseen workforce whose indefatigable drive to help people keeps the M1 moving.’
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