Motorists’ Christmas getaway plans were put on hold after a serious accident on the M1.
Two people are thought to be fighting for their lives after the three-car collision, Bedfordshire police said.
The northbound and southbound carriageways were closed between junctions 13 (Bedford) and 12 (Flitwick) as a result of the accident, which took place just after 2.30am on Saturday.
A spokeswoman for Bedfordshire police said: “Several people were injured and have been taken to hospital for treatment. Two people are thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries while a number of others are being treated for less serious injuries.”
Highways England said the closure was affecting traffic heading to Luton Airport and London.
The northbound carriageway reopened at around 8.20am on Christmas Eve.
Highways England said they were in the process of reopening one lane on the southbound carriageway, as the vehicles were removed from the scene.