DRIVERS faced huge traffic delays today after a crash which killed two people closed the M62 westbound in West Yorkshire.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision at the entry slip road to junction 26 at around 5.50am this morning.
It is believed a Mercedes lorry towing a container collided with a white Audi A5 while both vehicles were travelling in the same direction.
The occupants of the Audi, a 46-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman, both believed to be from the Bishop Auckland area, were confirmed to have died at the scene.
The lorry driver, a 43-year-old man from North East Lincolnshire, was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Police have closed the motorway westbound at junction 26 and the road is expected to remain shut for most of today, with motorists warned to avoid the area.
The lorry, which overturned, was towing a blue container with CMA CGM in large white letters on the side.
Sgt Garry Alderson of West Yorkshire Police said: “Clearly this was a very serious incident which has sadly resulted in the deaths of the man and woman travelling in the Audi.
“We are conducting a full collision investigation at the scene and obviously this will take time given the seriousness of the incident.
“I would advise drivers to avoid the area if at all possible while recovery work is underway and would ask anyone who saw the incident or either of the vehicles described shortly beforehand to contact the Major Collision Enquiry Team on 01924 293047.”
Journeys into Leeds and Bradford were delayed by more than an hour following the incident. The Highways Agency reported delays in both directions, with about 10 miles of tailbacks, despite a diversion via the A58, A641 and the A644. Drivers were seen making U-turns and reversing off the motorway as the congestion spread outwards.