M58 accident: Woman and boy, 14, dead and multiple people injured after two crashes – Mirror Online
A woman and a 14-year-old boy have died in a “horrendous” crash involving multiple vehicles on the M58 in Lancashire during morning rush hour traffic.
A man in his 60s was also left ‘fighting for his life’ and at least three others were taken to hospital in the “very serious” incident involving a HGV, a minibus and several other vehicles just before 9am.
A number of other people were also hurt and needed medical attention.
Traffic came to a standstill as dozens of emergency services were called to the scene, including two air ambulances, four land ambulances, police and fire crews.
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This afternoon, police confirmed a 31-year-old lorry driver from Chorley had been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
He is currently in custody.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Very sadly as a result of the collision two people, a woman and a 14-year-old boy, suffered injuries which proved fatal.
“No further details can be released at this time as we are contacting next of kin.”
The fatal collision happened just before 8.45am between junctions 3 and 4 Westbound.
Shortly afterwards at 10.12am, there was a second collision nearby between junctions 4 and 5 involving a HGV, a van and a car.
Four people were taken to hospital, one by air ambulance.
“One female aged in her early 90s and a male in his late 30s have major trauma injuries,” a North West Ambulance Service spokesman said.
“The two other patients have minor injuries.”
Chief Inspector of Lancashire Police Damien Kitchen said: “The second crash is not directly linked to the first incident but is believed to have been caused by the queue which resulted from the first incident.
“The crash happened about a mile from the first crash.”
Officers have closed part of the motorway in both directions westbound between J4 Skelmersdale and J3 Bickerstaffe as they investigate.
One person at the scene of the first crash told Mirror Online a lorry carrying timber appeared to have collided with a van, which hit other cars, and then rolled down an embankment.
Speaking earlier this morning, he said: “We can see the accident from our offices. One air ambulance left the scene just before 10am and the second looks like it’s about to leave.
“It would appear that a 10 tonne wagon carrying timber has hit a white van and also shunted four cars. The white van has been pushed off the motorway and part way down the embankment.”
North West Ambulance Service confirmed in a statement earlier today that as a result of the first crash, four people had been taken to hospital by ambulance – two of whom were thought to be children.
They said: “It is a very serious accident.
“One of them [victims] is a male in his mid teens, there is another male in his mid teens.
“Another patient is a male in his early 60s, that looks like a major trauma.”
They later added about the second incident: “We were called at 10.12am. We had a lot of resources there again.
“One patient has been taken to hospital by the air ambulance. Three were taken in a road ambulance.”
Helen Green Purnell, 48, a pharmacy assistant from Skelmersdale, saw the aftermath of the first crash while out walking dogs.
She said: “All I can tell you is I saw the cars slowing down and as I got there and there was a white van that had fallen down in to the ditch.
“It looked very serious. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.
“The air ambulances were flying around. I’ve never witnessed anything like this before.”
Images from the scene showed a lorry carrying scaffolding material and a number of bent and twisted cars.
Other images showed a white van had left the motorway and crashed into a nearby field.
A spokesman for Allied Scaffolding said: “We are fully aware of the situation and it is related to our company.
“We are in full co-operation with the police and authorities and will give them our full support.
“Our main concern at this stage is for those involved in the crash.”
Skelmersdale Police tweeted: “Please be aware that we are currently at the scene of a collision involving multiple vehicles on the M58.
“A full closure is in place between J3 at Bickerstaffe and J4 at Skelmersdale in both directions. Please avoid the area where possible.”
One motorist added: “There’s been a horrendous accident on the M58.
“It’s closed in both directions between 3 and 4 for an air ambulance. Avoid at all costs, it’s standstill traffic westbound from J2.”
Highways England has also warned the road is likely to remain closed for “several hours” while “emergency services deal with a serious collision.”
Lancashire Police tweeted: “Westbound will remain closed into this afternoon, we have started turning vehicles around to send back towards J4 & pick up diversion route.”
Meanwhile, a man who works near to the scene of the crash added to the Mirror Online: “This area has been an accident spot waiting to happen as the slip road is reduced from two lanes down to one lane with cones.
“However, at rush hour you can be queued back onto the M58 up to a third of a mile, with no advanced warning of lane closure, no warning wagon on the hard shoulder and no overhead lights and in the dark / rain it’s an absolute nightmare.”
Anyone with information about either collision should call 101 quoting log number 275 of today.