Arrest made after driver dies in M55 smash

The scene on the westbound M55 after the five vehicle smash
The scene on the westbound M55 after the five vehicle smash
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A van driver was killed in a five vehicle smash which blocked the westbound carriageway of the M55 for around eight hours today.

Police say the 53-year-old from Chorley was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision involving two lorries, two vans and a car near to junction 3, the Kirkham turn-off.

And officers say they have arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

An appeal for witnesses has been made following the crash which happened around 8.45am.

Hundreds of drivers were trapped on the westbound carriageway for several hours between junction 1 at Broughton and the scene of the collision. The road was only re-opened at around 5pm.

At one point workmen cut a gate in the central barrier to allow vehicles to cut through onto the eastbound lanes, where a rolling road block was in force to allow the traffic to exit.

A police statement at around 3.30pm said: “We were called at around 8.45am to junction three of the westbound carriageway to reports five vehicles – two HGVs, two vans and a car – had collided shortly before the exit slip road.

“Sadly the driver of one of the vans, a 53-year-old man from Chorley, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“A 34-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of death by dangerous driving and remains in police custody.

“The westbound carriageway of the motorway was closed fully between junctions one and three for several hours while collision investigators attended the scene.

“One lane has since reopened. The eastbound carriageway was partially closed for a while, although has now fully reopened.

“We are now appealing for information about the collision.

Sgt Steve Wignall, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “Our thoughts first and foremost are with the family of the man who died. I can only offer them my deepest condolences.

“Although we have made one arrest we are now working hard to piece together exactly what occurred and are appealing for anybody with information to contact us as soon as possible.

“If you saw the collision itself, or saw any of the vehicles involved in the collision in the moments before it happened, please get in touch.”

Anyone with information can contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 277 of May 2.

Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.