M6 motorway crashes in Cheshire
A series of crashes on the M6 motorway in Cheshire has resulted in the deaths of six people, including three children, police have said.
The young children were travelling with two adults - thought to be their parents - on the north-bound carriageway when their car burst into flames after a crash involving three lorries and two cars.
They died at the scene between junction 16 at Barthomley and junction 17 for Sandbach at about 10.40pm on Monday night.
Police have arrested a lorry driver, believed to be Spanish and in his 40s, on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
The tragedy followed another fatal crash one junction further along the same section of motorway, which had caused tailbacks.
The driver, a man in his 30s, died in the crash, which happened between junctions 17 and 18.
The north-bound section of the M6 between junctions 16 and 17 remained closed until about 7.20am on Tuesday morning.
Commenting on the second crash, Superintendent Jed Manley, of Cheshire Police, told GMTV: "The collision involved three heavy goods vehicles and two other cars - as a result of the collision one of the cars tragically caught fire and all the occupants of that vehicle were killed."
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Stephen Nye from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This is a truly horrific road traffic accident involving the tragic loss of young lives. Whilst the exact cause of the crash has yet to be determined, it is significant that the police have detained the lorry driver for questioning.
"Many accidents on our motorways involve lorries and heavy goods vehicles, often because other vehicles have been in the lorries' blind spot when the vehicle pulls out.
"The risks associated with foreign lorry drivers are often greater, as they are not accustomed to driving on the left and visibility of approaching traffic is not as good for such drivers. No doubt the police will investigate this matter very closely and will consider the actions of the driver, the state of his vehicle and how long he had been driving without a rest.
"I have represented many families affected by fatal road traffic accidents, this is clearly a terrible time for all concerned and the police will be providing vital support through their Family Liaison Officers.
"This incident is a stark illustration of how dangerous our roads can be. We are supporting National Road Safety Week in November, which is being run by road safety charity BRAKE. We would urge everyone to add their support to the campaign, to help make our roads safer in the future."