A MOTORWAY was sealed off today after a body was found on the carriageway.
The body on the M1 had been hit by several lorries and cars - and an experienced police officer described the scene as the worst he had seen in 10 years.
The injuries were so severe police are unsure if the body is a man or a woman.
It was discovered on the southbound carriageway just after junction 37 at Barnsley at 4am today.
Police immediately sealed off both carriageways - and it was not expected to reopen until noon at the earliest.
Traffic was diverted off the motorway through Barnsley, but the town was choked with traffic.
South Yorkshire Police spokesman Mike Trees said: "An officer with 10 years' traffic experience said the scene was the worst he had ever encountered.
"A team of officers are now carrying out a detailed forensic search of the motorway.
"At the moment we have no idea who the dead person is or where he or she has come from."
He said the body was discovered beneath a footbridge over the motorway and it appeared the person had plummeted from the bridge.
"It is being treated as a crime scene at this stage which is normal in such circumstances," said Mr Trees.
Southbound traffic was being diverted off the motorway at Junction 37, on to the A6133 Broadway into Barnsley and then out on the A61 to rejoin the motorway at junction 36.
But Mr Trees added: "With the amount of traffic now using this route it has become clogged.
"At this stage it's impossible to say when the motorway will reopen.
"It is unlikely to be before noon, but we certainly hope to get it open again before the teatime peak period."
Anyone driving on the motorway between junction 37 and 36 at 4am today who saw anything suspicious should contact South Yorkshire Police's witness helpline on 0114 220 2970.