Collision
Synopsis

Investigating what happened in episode one of Collision? Watch this catch-up video and read the full episode synopsis below.

Six cars collide on a superhighway outside London, leaving death, shattered lives, and profound mysteries. Why did some live and others die? Why did one driver disappear before rescuers got to him? And how will survivors, relatives, and others cope with a wrenching event that has unexpectedly far-reaching consequences?

Estranged lovers John Tolin and Ann Stallwood are the police officers called in to make sense of the mayhem, which unfolds as follows:

Sidney Norris, a piano teacher, inexplicably swerves, causing executive secretary Karen Donnelly to crash into him. Danny Rampton, an army vet driving a furniture van, skids into the two cars, leaving the ground and vaulting into the oncoming lanes. Young lovers Gareth Clay and Alice Jackson collide with the van while being pursued by police for speeding. Then a chauffeur-driven car carrying rich developer Richard Reeves plows into the first two cars, followed by store clerk Brian Edwards driving his mother-in-law, Joyce Thompson, who is grabbing at the wheel.

Sidney and Alice are dead at the scene, Joyce is in a coma, Danny is missing, and others are injured, including Richard, who falls in love while he is being treated. Meanwhile, Karen is in the hospital and desperately needs documents stolen from work that she left in her car — papers that put her in more danger than the accident itself.

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Warning: Contains significant plot spoilers

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Warning: Contains significant plot spoilers

A year after a traffic accident that left his wife dead and daughter crippled, Detective Inspector John Tolin is called in to investigate a six-vehicle pileup on a superhighway outside London. It's not normally his beat, but his assignment is to exonerate a police team that was pursuing a black BMW involved in the crash. The passenger in the BMW, Alice Jackson, died, and her father has threatened to sue the police for racial profiling.

Much to his dismay, Tolin is assigned to work with Senior Investigating Officer Ann Stallwood, a crash detective with RCIT (Road Crash Investigation Team), who is his estranged former lover. Despite their turbulent past, they behave professionally and soon put together the following sequence of events:

A mild-mannered piano teacher named Sidney Norris initiated the accident when he started gesticulating wildly and veered into the adjacent lane, causing Karen Donnelly to collide with him. Sidney died at the scene. Karen ended up in the hospital but then mysteriously discharged herself in the company of two men.

Behind Sidney and Karen, a furniture van driven by Danny Rampton, making a delivery from Holland, skidded into the two vehicles, leaving the ground and vaulting into the oncoming lanes. Inexplicably, Danny fled before rescuers got to him.

Meanwhile, Gareth Clay and his passenger, Alice, in the black BMW, were doing 83 mph, with a police car in hot pursuit. The BMW collided with the upended van, killing Alice. Tolin later surmises that the two were scrambling to get rid of marijuana in the moments before the crash — evidence that he uses to scrap the police misconduct lawsuit.

Back on the side of the road where the accident began, a chauffeur-driven car carrying wealthy property developer Richard Reeves plowed into Sidney and Karen's cars, followed by Brian Edwards in a station wagon with his mother-in-law, Joyce Thompson, in the passenger seat. Brian was able to walk away from the accident, but Joyce ended up in a coma and later died.

In the aftermath, Richard is evacuated to a makeshift triage center at a nearby rest stop, where waitress Jane Tarrant distracts him while he is being treated for a dislocated shoulder. Relieved, grateful, and immensely attracted to Jane, Richard later returns and asks her out on a date — even though he is married and she is engaged.

With the lawsuit problem solved, Tolin is to be taken off the case, but he insists on following up the mystery of what happed to Karen. He doesn't realize it, but at the time of the accident she was carrying stolen data from her corporate employer to reporter James Taylor, who promised to unmask the corporation's unethical conduct in Africa. Indeed, Tolin retrieved the envelope with the data, not knowing what was in it, and was taking it to Karen at the hospital, when it was stolen from the back seat of his car.

The Karen subplot thickens when she is found dead in her apartment, an apparent suicide.

The other mysteries being followed by Tolin and Stallwood: Why did Danny the van driver flee, and what was he picking up in Holland? Why did Joyce suffer such severe injuries when Brian was able to walk away unscathed? And why was Sidney behaving so erratically just before the crash? Could his obvious distress have something to do with a computer disk that he surreptitiously turned over to his online friend Ed earlier in the day?

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