Man arrested after lorry smash closes motorway

The traffic congestion following the smash
The traffic congestion following the smash
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A MOTORWAY near Wigan is gridlocked following a lorry and diesel spill.

It is believed that the articulated unit crossed the carriageway before striking the central reservation of the northbound M61 at Horwich then careered down the embankment.

The driver escaped injury and had evacuated the now burning lorry as firefighters from Leigh Fire Station green watch arrived at the scene.

Watch manager Matt Keogh explained that two pumps and the station’s emergency response vehicle spent an hour dealing with the blaze, which completely destroyed the vehicle and its cab. The crash happened at 5.10am on Monday April 7.

He said: “There was a lot of diesel spread across the three lanes that is now being cleaned up.”

The M61 northbound section affected - between junction 4 and 5, is expected to remain closed for several hours.

Debris was left on the motorway, damaging other cars, but no one was injured.

A diversion is in place from junction 5 onto Manchester Road, Chorley Road and back onto the motorway at junction 6.

The over taking lane of the southbound carriageway is also shut.

A 43-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and failing a road side breath test. He remains in custody for police questioning.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision are urged to call police on 0161 856 4741.