A lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after three people died in a motorway collision.
Police said the six-vehicle crash, which involved two lorries, took place on the northbound carriageway of the A1 near Bowburn, County Durham, at 6.20pm on Thursday.
A man and woman who were travelling in a Vauxhall Crossland died at the scene, along with the male driver of a Toyota Hilux pickup truck, said Durham Constabulary. Several others were injured, including two people who required hospital treatment. One of the lorries caught fire.
A 41-year-old male lorry driver is in police custody, having been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
Det Supt Dave Ashton, who is leading the investigation, gesê: “This was a harrowing incident for everyone involved and our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have lost their loved ones. It has been incredibly upsetting and distressing for those who witnessed the collision, and for the emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics, who attended the scene.
“We would therefore ask that people refrain from sharing photographs and videos from the collision out of dignity and respect for those who have lost their lives.”
Ashton said the investigation would be “extremely complex and lengthy” because the crash site was spread over some distance and many of the vehicles had been severely damaged. The usually busy stretch of motorway would remain closed for the rest of Friday, hy het bygevoeg, to allow for specialist collision investigators to work at the scene.
Ashton said: “We understand the significant disruption that this incident has caused, and would like to thank people for their patience, understanding and cooperation while we work at the scene.”