Three lorries and two cars collided at around 11.55am on Friday on the M6 northbound between Junction 14 for Stafford and Junction 15 for Stoke-on-Trent.
The crash left one lane blocked for more than two hours as officers from Central Motorway Policing Group and Highways England worked to clear the scene. An ambulance and paramedic officer also attended.
Central Motorway Policing Group tweeted from the motorway, saying one lorry was travelling too close to the vehicle in front and hit it when traffic had to stop suddenly.
The lane was cleared by 2.30pm for traffic, but left 90 minutes of delays with gridlocked traffic stretching back 12 miles to Junction 11 for the M6 Toll. By 5.30pm the congestion had eased but there were still queues lasting around 40 minutes going back six miles.
A spokesman for Highways England said: "We were called to reports of a collision on the M6 northbound between Junctions 14 and 15 near Stafford between three lorries and two cars at around 11.55am.
"Officers at the scene worked to clear the road, with one lane blocked to traffic, while West Midlands Ambulance service attended to two people at the scene.
"The work was completed at 2.30pm and the road fully reopened to traffic, but with 90 minutes worth of delays still in place due to traffic being backed up."
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "We were called to reports of a collision involving two lorries and a car on the northbound carriageway of the M6, between junctions 14 and 15, at 11.50am.
"One ambulance and a paramedic officer attended the scene.
"On arrival we assessed a man, who was one of the lorry drivers. He was treated for minor injuries and discharged at the scene.
"The second patient was also discharged at scene."