A driver was killed on the M62 when his car ploughed through a crash barrier and into the path of two lorries.

The motorist collided with a lorry on the eastbound carriageway of the M62, near Milnrow, Greater Manchester, before careering through the central reservation.

His car was then struck by two lorries and a car on the opposite carriageway, killing him.

Police have contacted the deceased’s family but are yet to formally identify him.

A man and a woman travelling in another car were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Both were in a stable condition yesterday afternoon following the accident, which happened at 9.35am yesterday.

A further eight people escaped with minor injuries after their vehicles were involved in the collision which was attended by all emergency services, including two air ambulances.

Video thumbnail, Air ambulance on M62 July 4 (credit Tom Raine)
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Video credit: Tom Raine

The tragedy meant the motorway was closed in both directions for several hours, causing tailbacks to Scammonden Dam on the eastbound carriageway and back to Junction 18 (Simister) on the westbound side.

The M62 westbound was reopened at around 3.40pm, although motorists on the opposite carriageway had to wait until the evening for their side to reopen.

While the motorway was closed police crash investigation teams scoured the scene before Highways England staff cleared debris from the highway and recovered the damaged vehicles.

A police spokesperson said: “Shortly after 9.30am on Monday, police received a number of reports of a collision just before junction 21 of the M62.

“Officers attended and found that a car travelling on the eastbound carriageway was involved in a collision with a HGV.

Vehicles recovered following M62 crash
Vehicles recovered following M62 crash

“The car then went through the central reservation on to the westbound carriageway and collided with another car and two HGVs. The man travelling in the car was sadly pronounced dead at the scene and work is ongoing to identify this man and trace his family.

“A man and a woman who were travelling in one of the other vehicles have been taken to hospital for treatment to serious injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening at this stage.”

While the motorway was closed Highways England allowed traffic to turn around on the carriageway and exit the M62.

The closure led to congestion on the surrounding road networks with severe delays between Milnrow and Oldham, around Rochdale and over Saddleworth Moor.

There was also heavy traffic on the Woodhead road above Holmfirth.

Video thumbnail, M62 crash causes traffic chaos in Holmfirth
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And due to accidents on the M61, near Bolton, and two serious incidents on the M56 in Cheshire, Highways England put out a national alert advising drivers to keep away from North West and Pennine motorways.

Thousands of stranded motorists were held up in the delays. Many talked of missing flights from Manchester Airport and appointments, while the driver of a trapped ice-cream van served confectionery to nearby drivers and passengers.