A38 crash victim: 'The hail caught everybody out'
POLICE are continuing an investigation into the cause of a spate of crashes on a short stretch of the A38 in which one man died.
One driver involved in the incident went on to The Herald's website, thisisplymouth, to describe how the weather conditions suddenly deteriorated just before the collisions..
The series of smashes happened within minutes of each other at around 5.45am on Tuesday morning, around the same time as a freak hail storm.
A 42-year-old man was left critically ill in hospital and died later from his injuries. He was expected to be named today.
His car, a Ford Fiesta, was involved in a collision with a Toyota Avensis at 5.48am, police said.
There were also eight other vehicles involved in collisions along the stretch of road between Manadon roundabout and the Forder Valley interchange.
Police were unable to give further details about the probe, but confirmed there would be a full investigation into what happened.
There have been reports of a heavy hail storm at around 5.30am, which is thought to have contributed to reduced visibility for drivers.
In a comment on thisisplymouth a witness said: "I was one of the unlucky ones involved in one of those accidents where the road was wet but by no means slippery.
"I was driving under the flyover doing 60mph where the hail suddenly came down so fast that it caught everybody out.
"Looking ahead I could see that there had been an incident, which turned out to be very serious, and I eased off and kept my distance between me and the car in front.
"Unfortunately some people didn't manage to stop in time due to the incredible deterioration of the road conditions and ploughed into other vehicles including mine, I am thankful to be uninjured.
"Whether the roads were salted or gritted I believe this would not have changed anything due to the vast amount of ice that settled within minutes."
Helen Chivers from the Met Office said: "There were heavy thunderstorms and hail showers in the Plymouth area, particularly going into the dawn of Tuesday morning.
"Heavy hail that covered the ground rapidly and because temperatures were low it would have added to the ice on the ground."