A tragic lorry crash on the M62 cost one man his life.

He died when he collapsed at the wheel of his car transporter this afternoon.

It meant thousands of drivers were caught up in traffic jams both on the motorway and on surrounding roads.

Police confirmed the sad news some four hours after the incident.

Police had to close the westbound carriageway for several hours after the lorry driver collapsed at the wheel of his car transporter and it jack-knifed and crashed at Scammonden.

The crash came just yards from the Scammonden Dam and blocked all three lanes of the busy motorway.

The driver, a 68-year-old man, is thought to have lost control after collapsing.

He had been helped by paramedics and flown to hospital in the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which landed on the carriageway on top of the dam.

Traffic was also halted on the eastbound lanes to allow the helicopter to land and to take off.

Standstill traffic on M62 as rush hour begins

Video Loading

Police and Highways England officers shut down the westbound lanes firstly at Junction 23 at Outlane and then at Junction 24 at Ainley Top in a bid to stop further traffic chaos throughout the afternoon.

There were jams on many roads leading to and from the motorway as people tried to find alternative routes and people talked of eight-mile tailbacks on the A640 above Outlane.

M62 westbound CLOSED after lorry crash - live updates

Fire crews from several stations, including Huddersfield, Rastrick, Cleckheaton and Rochdale, were called to the scene about 12.30pm yesterday.

There were initial reports that three lorries were involved but police confirmed the only vehicle involved was the transporter, which was carrying several vans on its rear trailer.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance lands on the M62 after a three-lorry crash near Rishworth Moor
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance lands on the M62 after a three-lorry crash near Rishworth Moor

Traffic jams tailed back several miles past Brighouse before police closed the motorway and diverted traffic from Ainley Top.

The Westbound carriageway finally reopened at 6.15pm.

A Highways England spokesman said: “The westbound carriageway of the M62 was closed due to a serious traffic incident which happened near Huddersfield.

“As a result the westbound carriageway of the M62 had to remain closed between junction 24 (Ainley Top) and junction 22 (Saddleworth) during yesterday evening’s rush hour while the police investigation continues.

“Highways England worked hard with West Yorkshire Police and other emergency services to reopen the M62 as soon as safely possible. We advised drivers to consider alternative routes or to delay their journey if possible.”

Traffic was diverted off at the Ainley Top junction via the A629 towards Halifax, along the A646, the A58 through Sowerby Bridge and on to the A672 in Ripponden to return to the M62 at junction 22.

On the motorway itself, traffic officers opened up an access road linking to the M62 to get traffic away from the carriageway.

They allowed cars and vans on the westbound carriageway to drive off the motorway on to the access road, which runs beneath the M62, and rejoin the eastbound carriageway.