A man has died following a car crash on the A66 in Cumbria.

The 42-year-old, from west Cumbria, was pronounced dead at the scene of the multi-vehicle collision at Thornthwaite, Keswick.

Three other people - including a nine-year-old - were taken to hospital, two of them by air ambulance.

The crash happened at about 12.50pm yesterday. The road was closed for several hours as an investigation into the cause of the tragedy was launched.

A Cumbria police spokesman said: "There were three cars directly involved in the collision, a red Citroen C3 driven by a 40-year-old female from outside the area, a silver Renault Clio, driven by a 42-year-old male from west Cumbria and a green A Class Mercedes driven by a 56-year-old male from the Cheshire area.

"As a result of the collision a 42-year-old male was pronounced dead at the scene.

"An 18-year-old male from west Cumbria was flown to Preston Royal Infirmary and a 56-year-old woman, from Cheshire, was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, both having sustained serious injuries.

"A nine-year-old child was taken by land ambulance to Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, and is described as stable. "

The families of those involved are being supported by police.

Witnesses who have yet to come forward should call 101.