M6 crash: Driver injured after lorry ploughs through barriers and down embankment
Motorists faced up to 17 miles of tailbacks after a lorry smashed through barriers and slipped down an embankment on the M6.
The lorry driver had to be taken to hospital after suffering a head injury in the crash in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Delays of at least one hour 15 minutes were reported on the motorway in Stafford through the morning rush-hour.
The crash happened at around 2.30am when the lorry left the road and ploughed through a barrier off the hard shoulder.
It fell down an embankment and hit trees to the side of the motorway close to junction 13 for Stafford south and central.
Emergency services arrived at the scene to help release the driver who had been unable to get out of the cab.
An ambulance crew and a paramedic officer arrived to help.
West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman Murray MacGregor said: “The driver was unable to get out until firefighters had stabilised the vehicle. He was then helped out of the cab by ambulance staff.
“The 63-year-old was assessed at the scene and treated for a head injury and was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further assessment.”
Long tailbacks formed on the southbound carriageway in the wake of the crash.
It damaged an overhead bridge and almost 500ft of the nearside barrier, Highways England said.
Two lanes and the exit slip road were closed for up to eight hours while the man was treated and the lorry was recovered.
The clean-up operation also involved clearing a fuel spill on the roadway.
Traffic was queuing back towards junction 15 for Stoke.
Highways England officials tweeted pictures showing the stricken lorry with the rear of the trailer down the bank.
A large crane was brought in to raise the lorry and its trailer back onto the road so that it could be taken away.
Staffordshire Fire Service said crews from Stone and Stafford crews went to the scene and were part of the team helping to rescue the driver from the cab.
All lanes were open by 11am but the exit slip road remained closed for a while afterwards for barrier repairs.