IT WAS meant to be a spectacular evening of celebration.
Tracey Savage and partner Lee Shepherd, of Copnor Road, were raising smiles and cheers from thousands of revellers as they took part in the Bridgwater Carnival in Somerset dressed in dazzling Halloween-themed costumes.
But the feel-good atmosphere turned to shock and sadness as one of the worst road traffic accidents in recent memory unfolded a few miles away on the M5 near Taunton.
Tracey said: ‘It was such a wonderful evening but when we heard what was happening it brought us back down to earth with bang.
‘As we made our way back home and saw the huge tailbacks on the M5 as we crossed over the motorway bridge – our hearts were in our mouths.’
The Shepherd family were the first ever entry from Portsmouth to take part in the event and waltzed their way to second place in the walking category.
Their efforts have helped raise more than £350 for the Rowans Hospice in Waterlooville and Salisbury Hospicecare.