Four people have died and a woman and two children are critically ill in hospital after a lorry smashed through the central reservation on the M5.
The lorry collided with oncoming traffic heading southbound towards Bristol after it careered across the northbound carriageway between junctions 16 and 14 in south Gloucestershire on Saturday.
Avon and Somerset Police confirmed four people had died, with three others in a life-threatening condition in hospital, the Press Association reported.
The lorry driver was also taken to hospital to be checked over as a precaution.
All three lanes of the motorway’s southbound carriage are now open, while efforts continue to reopen the northbound carriage.
Cardiologist Amer Hamed, who was in a car travelling “10 to 20 seconds behind” the crash, told the BBC: “There was a lorry involved and at least two other cars. One was absolutely destroyed and another had flipped over.”
Along with other medically-trained motorists, he stopped to help an injured woman.
Superintendent Simon Ellis said: “Emergency service personnel have been working tirelessly at the scene in harrowing conditions and I’d like to praise them for the work they’ve done and are still doing.
“I’d also like to thank the members of the public who courageously went to the aid of those involved in this collision and in some cases rescued them from their vehicles.
“Our priority is to ensure the victims’ next of kin are notified and supported, as well as the ongoing management of the scene, and this important work is ongoing.”
He added: “We know this has been extremely disruptive to many people but we’ve had to prioritise the rescue and recovery operation and ensure we carry out a thorough investigation at the scene.
“This is painstaking work.”