Driver hurt in snowbound motorway pile-up

A DRIVER is fighting for his life in hospital today after he was hit by an out of control car in snowy conditions on the M1 in South Yorkshire.

The 40-year-old from Wallsend, North Tyneside, was injured in a multiple vehicle pile up on the M1 near Sheffield 8am yesterday morning.

The crash, involving a lorry and three cars, happened shortly after 8am when the man's Ford Focus skidded on ice and came to rest on the hard shoulder, facing the wrong way up the road.

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The lorry driver, a 42-year-old man from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, stopped on the hard shoulder beyond the Ford Focus to check whether the driver, who had climbed out of his car, was all right.

As the men stood by the side of the Ford, a silver Vauxhall Vectra driven by a 30-year-old Leeds man went out of control as it overtook a grey Volkswagen Passat.

The Vectra span into the path of the Passat, driven by a 56-year-old man from the Sheffield area, and the two cars collided head on.

The impact forced the Passat, which was carrying a 26-year-old woman passenger from Grimesthorpe, in Sheffield, into the central crash barrier.

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The Vectra then hit the men standing beside the Ford Focus, seriously injuring them both before hitting the rear of the lorry.

All three lanes of the southbound carriageway between junctions 34 and 33 near the Tinsley viaduct at Sheffield were closed while emergency services tended to the injured.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance airlifted the 40-year-old to Sheffield General Hospital, where he remains in intensive care.

The lorry driver was taken to Rotherham District Hospital suffering a broken leg.

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The drivers and passengers of the other cars were treated in hospital for minor injuries.

South Yorkshire Police are appealing for witnesses.

A spokesman said: "We are urging motorists to take extra care and to take more time for their journeys."