HUDDERSFIELD’S roads were totally snarled up after a lorry crash on the M62 closed the motorway completely.
The M62 was shut for several hours between Brighouse and Ainley Top yesterday after the crash involving a lorry and two cars – and firefighters are amazed no-one was killed.Related content
Three people were taken to hospital and the motorway was closed in both directions between junctions 24 and 25 for more than five hours after the incident at midday.
One firefighter described how the motorway was littered with debris after the accident and said he was amazed there were no fatalities.
Watch manager Stephen Bates from Elland Fire Station said: "All of the vehicles were very badly smashed up.
"Those involved suffered a few minor injuries including cuts and bruises, but nobody appeared to be seriously hurt.
"There was debris all over the place and looking at what happened I was very surprised that nobody was more seriously injured."
Brighouse watch manager Alex McFarlane added: "It is amazing that we haven’t had any fatalities.
"Quite a few vehicles were involved and debris from the crash went down the motorway but managed not to hit anyone."
"The fire service did not have to cut anyone out but commuters were stuck a long time and some people were getting distressed.
"We were also called to try and help a farm vehicle because it was carrying pigs which were getting affected by the heat."
The crash happened near to junction 25 when the HGV driver was travelling from Ainley Top at junction 24 towards Brighouse.
The HGV was in a collision with a black Vauxhall Vectra which led the lorry to swerve across the road crashing through the motorway’s central reservation.
The HGV flipped on to its side blocking three lanes and shedding its load on to the eastbound carriageway.
The car became wedged in the metal barriers while a driver of a Range Rover then ran into the lorry as it laid on its side across the motorway.
Firefighter Bates said: "The motorway was a mess.
"The lorry spilled its load, including a big metal item, which looked like a component for some industrial use, over on to the other side of the road.
"The metal barriers from the central reservation were also bent out across the road."
The lorry is believed to have been carrying drilling equipment.
Nobody was trapped in the vehicles, but the driver and two passengers from the Vauxhall Vectra were taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Their injuries were described by police as non-life threatening.
The 62-year-old man driving the lorry and a woman driving the Range Rover did not require hospital treatment
Fire crews from Huddersfield, Elland, Brighouse and Cleckheaton attended as police closed off the eastbound and westbound carriageways between Junctions 24 and 25.
At 5.15pm two lanes on the eastbound carriageway and one lane westbound were re-opened.
But the rest remained shut due to the amount of diesel spilled and the damage to the central reservation.
Drivers told the Examiner about their misery of getting caught up in the aftermath.
One motorist, who did not want to be named, reported it had taken her an hour to get from Cooper Bridge to Marsh as drivers came off the M62. By early evening it was taking an hour to go a mile anywhere near Huddersfield ring road and people were getting off buses and walking home.
Sgt Paul Denton from Huddersfield traffic police said: "The incident on the motorway gridlocked all the major roads in and out of Huddersfield. Countless thousands of vehicles have been diverted through the town and then at 3pm there was a serious incident on Bradford Road which completely shut it.’’Police began to re-open lanes on the motorway around 6pm.There was severe damage to the central reservation barrier.A Highways Agency spokeswoman said they were recovering the vehicles and a gritter was at the scene late into the evening treating a diesel spill.
Anyone who saw the crash should asked to contact the Motorway Unit on 01924 293034