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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Drivers stuck for hours after M6 lorry crash

Hundreds of drivers were stranded after a lorry overturned and closed the M6 for more than four hours.

The HGV crashed between junction 42 near Carlisle and junction 41, blocking all three carriageways last night.

The accident led to tailbacks of more than three miles and heavy traffic on diversionary routes.

Police said the lorry overturned on the southbound carriageway at around 4pm but the scene was not cleared until 2.30am.

Angela Huck, a solicitor with local firm Burnetts, faced a “mammoth” drive home.

She said the incident doubled the length of her commute from Carlisle to her house in the south of Cumbria.

Ms Huck headed home from her office at 5pm and was on the motorway for two hours.

She found the episode frustrating but understood why there was such a long delay, she said.

“I saw a lot of people complaining about the police but my view is we’re the least of their worries,” she said. “You’ve got to let them do their job and you’ve got to just sit and wait.”

Ms Huck sent updates about what was happening on the road to her Twitter account. She Tweeted that she had moved three miles in 30 minutes and it had taken her one hour and 15 minutes to get from junction 41 to 43 via a diversion.

Traffic was eventually diverted down the A6, where Ms Huck was able to see the full extent of the incident and subsequent tailbacks. She was concerned about the behaviour of some of the drivers after they made their way out of the jam.

“There was a lot of reckless overtaking going on,” she said.

Another driver, Anthony Ferguson, was stuck on the road from 4.20pm until 7.15pm. He reported several drivers, including himself, needing to ask for jump leads as their batteries failed in the long wait.

The first lane reopened at 6.20pm but the southbound carriageway was not completely cleared until after 2am.

A police spokeswoman said there was “a lot of debris” on the road. Officers are now investigating the cause of the incident. The 52-year-old male driver of the lorry was not injured.

The fire service sent two appliances to the scene and helped to make the area safe.

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