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A 37-year-old man has died following a three-vehicle collision on the M5 early on Sunday which led to a lorry exploding.
The tragic accident occurred on the northbound carriageway of the M5 between Junction 11 (Golden Valley) and Junction 9 (Ashchurch), Gloucestershire when two lorries collided into each other.
One of the lorries is said to have "exploded" – with people living more than three miles away from the motorway saying they heard the massive "bang", GloucestershireLive reports.
Police have said that a lorry stopped on the side of the northbound carriageway of the M5 after a Ford Fiesta had left the road in order to try and protect the vehicle.
The driver of the second lorry tragically lost his life in the crash, with authorities confirming his next of kin have been informed.
The driver of the Ford Fiesta was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs, but has since been released under investigation.
In a statement, Gloucestershire Constabulary said: "Police were called at 5.20am with a report of a Ford Fiesta losing control on the M5 northbound carriageway.
"A lorry stopped to protect the Fiesta from passing vehicles and to check on the welfare of its driver. A second lorry has then collided with the first lorry.
"Emergency services attended and the driver of the second lorry, a 37-year-old man from Bristol was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin and the coroner have been informed.
"A 21-year-old man, the driver of the Ford Fiesta, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs.
"He has since been released under investigation."
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Police have confirmed that the northbound M5 will be closed until at least Monday morning, while two lanes of the southbound side has since been reopened.
Diversions are in place for people travelling north, between junctions 11 and 9 of the M5.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said in a tweet that the M5 will remain closed until tomorrow after the ‘extensive road damage’ requiring resurfacing.
A spokesperson for the Fire Service said: “A busy weekend for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service who also attended the incident on the M5 earlier.
"The M5 northbound carriageway between J11 and J9 will remain closed until tomorrow due to extensive road surface damage that must be resurfaced as a result of this incident.”
Highways England Network Operations Manager, Beverley Mears, said: “We are working at the scene with emergency service partners.
“Due to extensive road surface damage which will require resurfacing the northbound carriageway is expected to remain closed until tomorrow morning so please bear this in mind when planning your journeys and consider alternative routes.”
A spokesperson from the Co-operative has confirmed that one of its lorries was involved in the incident, and that the store was working with police, but would not comment further.
Officers investigating the collision are keen to hear from anyone who may have relevant dashcam footage or who witnessed the incident and have not yet spoken to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 and quote incident 86 of 13 September.
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