A stretch of the M6 has been shut following a crash involving three lorries.
The closure on the northbound carriageway between junction 25 (Bryn) and junction 26 (M58 Orrell Interchage) was put in place around 8.35am and is expected to be in place for some time.
Our colleagues at the Liverpool ECHO will be bringing you the latest updates on the crash when we get it.
That concludes our live updates service - for now
Our live updates service on this incident has concluded for Wednesday night but check back here first thing on Thursday morning for the latest on the road closure.
In the meantime, here’s everything we know about this incident so far.
Emergency re-surfacing work now under way
Another update from Highways England:
M6 to remain closed overnight, Highways England confirms
This is the latest from them on Twitter:
It could now be 2.30am before the road reopens
This is the latest estimate from Traffic England:
The latest from Highways England
They have been tweeting about the M6:
Here's everything you need to know about this incident so far
For those of you just joining us, click or tap here to read our full report about the M6 situation.
Images from scene as delays now expected until after midnight
These photos were taken earlier of the tailbacks as traffic was at a standstill. Thanks to Dawid Madejowski for the images.
The latest Traffic England update is now an expected reopening time of 12.30-45am.
But that time has been sliding back all day and the police have not given their own estimate - so it may well remain closed overnight.
Drivers still being told to avoid the area
What the police have said so far
This is what the police have said so far about the fatal collision:
Merseyside Roads Policing Unit is appealing for witnesses following a fatal road traffic collision on the M6 this morning, Wednesday 10th January.
Officers from the North West Motorways Policing Group (NWMPG) attended at J26 on the northbound carriageway at Orrell, near Wigan, at around 7.50am following reports of a multi-vehicle collision involving three heavy goods vehicles.
One of the HGV drivers was pronounced dead at the scene. Work is ongoing to identify the male and trace his next of kin.
The northbound carriageway has been closed to allow investigation work to be carried out and traffic is currently being diverted off the motorway at J23 at Haydock. Traffic also remains heavy on the East Lancashire Road (A580).
Officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision or has any information which could assist the investigation to contact MSOC Roads Policing Officers on 0151 777 5747 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Thoughts with family despite gridlock
Many drivers are affected by the disruption caused by the crash, but obviously many people’s thoughts are with the family of the dead driver.
Police have said one lorry driver was tragically killed in the collision this morning, with two others injured.
Delays until as late as 10.45pm
Traffic England’s estimates for the reopening time for the M6 have been getting later and later throughout the day.
Some will be beginning to wonder if the stretch between junctions 23 and 26 is likely to reopen at all tonight.
Traffic England says:
“Normal traffic conditions are expected between 22:30 and 22:45 on 10 January 2018.”
Contractors now clearing debris and lorry
The clean up of the debris across the carriageway is well underway, say travel service Inrix.
It adds: “Recovery work and specialist equipment is on scene to upright the lorry.”
“The road remains closed however @NWmwaypolice investigation is now complete, long delays in the area. Please plan ahead.”
Broken down lorry on M57 northbound at Tarbock Island
A broken-down lorry in a separate incident has caused queuing traffic with a lane closed on the M57 heading northbound near Tarbock Island.
The second lane is blocked and highways officers are on scene after junction 1 (for the M62, A5080 and A5300 Knowsley Expressway).
There is congestion on the Knowsley Expressway back to the A562 Speke Road, and on the A5080 Cronton Road back to Wilson Road.
Delays on other local roads
These other routes have been hit by delays caused by the M6 tailbacks:
- A580 East Lancs Road eastbound in Haydock - traffic stationary at junction 23 with the M6.
- A58 Liverpool Road in both directions in Ashton-in-Makerfield - queuing traffic in both directions between Tithebarn Road and the A49 Warrington Road.
- A49 Lodge Lane in Ashton-in-Makerfield northbound- traffic not moving northbound between the B5207 Bryn Road and the A599 Penny Lane.
- A572 Newton Road eastbound in Lowton - tarffic not moving here either between Winwick Lane (A579) and Kenyon Lane (B5207).
Tailbacks for more than two miles
There are tailbacks of two-and-a-half miles on the M6, according to travel service Inrix.
Drivers finally let off route after seven hours
The last of the drivers trapped on the route were finally assisted to back off the M6 by around 3.30pm, some of them after seven hours stuck in one place.
Police also finished their probe into the scene at around 3pm, which marks a significant step forward in getting the route back open.
But contractors now have to shift the three HGVs off the road, as well as the spilled yoghurt load of one vehicle and possible diesel spillages.
They are not sure how long that could take.
Here was the emergency services rushing to the scene this morning:
Fears of diesel spill on the road
There is some concern among police that diesel may have spilled out onto the track, as well as one lorry’s load of yoghurts already being cleared as we speak.
The fuel can cause damage to the motorway - and at least some of the road may have to remain closed for rapid resurfacing if that is the case.
The authorities hope to have at least one lane reopening tonight, but it is a big operation and it remains unclear how long it will take.
No ETA for route reopening
North West Motorway Police have now begun clearing the scene of the three-lorry crash this morning near junction 26 with the Orrell Interchange.
They finished their investigation at around 3pm today, but were not able to give a timescale for how long it be before the motorway reopens.
Stuck traffic being released off motorway
Travel firm Inrix says the traffic stuck on the motorway since this morning is now being released to get off the M6.
The rest of trapped traffic behind the incident is now being released.
But the road is not expected to reopen until later on, with estimates getting continually later in the day and drivers now looking at after 7pm.
Update from police
Latest from police:
Claims drivers "flying down the hard shoulder"
We can’t confirm this, but some on the M6 are reporting drivers “flying down the hard shoulder” past the gridlock.
Drivers' frustrations at delays
Drivers are understandably sharing their frustration at the delays, but Highways England point out investigation work must go on given the tragic circumstances.
'Stuck for six hours'
One motorist told the ECHO: “Been stuck in my car for six hours. Understand the issue but just short of m58 junction 25 turn. Cannot understand the trapped traffic could not be sent down hard shoulder and at least make alternative travel arrangements.”
Another picture of the understandable tailbacks.
Motorists taking to social media.
Latest on the fatal crash
Here’s what we know so far.
- A man has sadly died and two others injured after a crash involving three lorries on the M6.
- Emergency services were called to the scene , between Junction 25 at Bryn and Junction 26 at Orrell interchange, at around 7.50am.
- Police have confirmed that one of the HGV drivers was pronounced dead at the scene.
- Work is ongoing to identify the man and trace his next of kin.
- The North West Ambulance confirmed that two other people were injured but their condition was described as ‘walking wounded’.
- All three northbound lanes on the M6 are currently closed between junction 23 at Haydock and Junction 26 at Orrell Interchange near the M58.
Driver has "never seen so many emergency service vehicles"
One driver stuck in the traffic said: “I can’t really see anything.
“Only thing I can say is that I’ve been stationary since around 7.50am.
“I’ve never seen so many emergency vehicles respond to an accident.
“The main point is that whilst it’s a bit frustrating, it’s nothing compared to what it is for those involved.”
Photos of the queues as traffic ground to a halt
Many cars have been stationary for hours as emergency services deal with the tragic incident.
This is the scene now for drivers and passengers stuck in the gridlock, which is not expected to end for a while yet.
Delays southbound as drivers slow down
People are slowing to look at the accident on the opposite side as they head south, by junction 26, according to travel service Inrix.
Some trapped traffic released
Travel service Inrix reports some of the trapped traffic at the front of the queues has been released.
It’s not clear if the traffic much further back will be.