UPDATE: Motorway to stay closed overnight after fatal crash

The recovery operation on the M27 at Whiteley '''''Picture: Jason Kay
The recovery operation on the M27 at Whiteley '''''Picture: Jason Kay
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THE M27 will remain closed overnight due to a fatal crash, the Highways Agency has confirmed.

The multi-vehicle collision, which involved at least three cars and a lorry, happened just before Junction 9 of the eastbound carriageway at Whiteley, at 9.15am.

One person died at the scene, and seven other people were examined by paramedics.

A man and a 19-month-old baby passenger sustained minor injuries.

The incident has caused major tailbacks and the central reservation barrier has been cut to allow traffic through.

The Highways Agency said the eastbound side of the motorway will remain closed overnight.

The westbound carriageway reopened at 11.15am, but has a lane closed due to a separate incident near Junction 5.

Police could not any further details about the deceased, but are conducting enquiries to establish their identity and notify next-of-kin.

Chief Inspector Andy Bottomley, who is from the Roads Policing Unit and is co-ordinating the police response, said: ‘In any situation like this where someone has tragically died in a collision we have a duty to conduct a thorough forensic examination of the scene. The more vehicles involved, the more complex that is, and the more time it will take to complete this vital work.

‘Please be reassured that we have deployed the maximum number of officers to the scene and are working hard with our partner agencies and emergency responders to deal with the immediate aftermath of the collision, complete the investigation at the scene, and ensure the road is safe for you to travel on.

‘In the meantime, please avoid the area. We will keep you updated and aim to get the road back to normal as soon as possible. Massive thanks to those of you stuck in the tailbacks for your patience and understanding during what must be a frustrating time.’

Anyone who witnessed the incident is urged to call 101 and quote Operation Shornmead.