ONE man died and another is fighting for life after an horrific motorway pile-up.
The victim was a 22-year-old man from Batley while the badly-injured man is his friend from Mirfield.
Both were in a van which was in collision with two lorries, another van and a car on the M5 in Gloucester on Tuesday evening.
It is believed the Mirfield man, who is 27, was thrown from the vehicle on impact, while the passenger was trapped in the wreckage.
He was freed by rescuers but suffered a cardiac arrest and died later in Worcester Royal Hospital.
The man has not yet been named.
The van driver was taken to hospital with a doctor treating him in the ambulance and is in a serious condition.
Now Gloucestershire Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, which closed the motorway for more than nine hours.
Gloucestershire Police’s Insp Jason Keates said: “The collision occurred at the start of a contraflow so we believe that has got something to do with it and we are looking for witnesses to come forward and help us”.
The M5 runs from West Bromwich through Gloucestershire and Somerset to Devon.
The emergency services were called to the five-vehicle collision between junctions 9 and 8 on the northbound carriageway at around 9.10pm.
West Midlands Ambulance Service sent an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle, two senior paramedic officers, a paramedic area support officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), three medics and a specialist trauma doctor to the scene.
A spokeswoman said: “Several vehicles, including a lorry and a van, had been in a significant collision and on arrival at the scene crews found three men with serious injuries.
“One man, the passenger of a van, had to be quickly extricated from the vehicle by emergency crews due to his serious condition. The man went into cardiac arrest and was conveyed by land ambulance on blue lights to Worcester Royal Hospital whilst receiving advanced life support by crews and a medic.
“Sadly, despite their best efforts, nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead shortly after arrival at hospital.
“The driver of the van had been ejected from the vehicle and had sustained significant head and chest injuries.
“He received emergency treatment by the trauma doctor and fellow medics and was anaesthetised on scene to help stabilise his condition.
“He was then taken by land ambulance on alert to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The trauma doctor travelled with the patient to hospital.
“The third man, the lorry driver, had suffered multiple leg and pelvic injuries and was trapped in the cab. Crews worked to carefully extricate him whilst he continued to receive the very best medical treatment.
“After two hours, the man was finally released from the wreckage and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with a medic on board.”
Witnesses to the collision that haven’t yet spoken to police are asked to contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on telephone number 101, quoting incident number 444 of May 1.
The motorway was closed until around 6.30 yesterday morning to allow for a full investigation to take place.