TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who died as a lorry crashed through the central reservation of a busy dual carriageway.
The incident happened on the A27 near Hambrook Hill yesterday at about 4.15pm.
The route was closed between the Fishbourne roundabout in Chichester and the Emsworth junction in both directions, causing long tailbacks.
A West Sussex Police spokeswoman said a vehicle – which Highways England said was a lorry – that was travelling westbound had crashed into the central reservation and ended up in the eastbound carriageway.
She said no other vehicles were involved, although an investigation into the circumstances was underway.
Eyewitnesses reported that the lorry, believed to be a tipper truck, had ended up in the trees on the opposite carriageway.
Darren Knight said: ‘The lorry crashed across the central reservation. Happened right next to me when I was driving through.’
A police spokesman later added that a male fatality had been reported and that his next of kin was in the process of being informed.
Thousands of people were caught in the traffic, which lasted until late last night with diversions set up through Chichester and the A259.
Scores of people posted messages on The News’ Facebook page. Malcolm Chewter posted: ‘I was in the traffic, yes I got home late but I got home safe, my thoughts are with the man’s family.’
Magayon Torres said: ‘RIP.... wondered what caused the traffic on my way home earlier. Thoughts are with the family.’
Kas Fflaye said: ‘RIP and condolences to his family and friends, we were caught up in traffic tonight, but at least we made it home.’
Emergency services were expected to be at the scene until the early hours of this morning carrying out an investigation. Highways England said the route was not expected to be reopened until at least 3am.
A second incident involving a car was reported on the A27 eastbound between the junctions with the A2030 and the A3(M) shortly after.