Police have confirmed that a fatal crash on the M6 near Penrith on Saturday morning claimed the life of a woman in her 40s. 

Emergency services were alerted at 11.48am today following a collision on the southbound carriageway.

A Police spokeswoman confirmed today that the woman who died was in her 40s, but no furhter details would be released at this time, she said. It has not yet been revealed whether the woman was a driver or a passenger.

Three fire engines were called to the scene, where the vehicle involved is said to have overturned.

In an earlier police statement, senior officers said the M6 was closed southbound between junctions 40 and 41 for several hours. 

The road was closed until just after 5pm as emergency crews - including specialist police accident investigators - worked at the scene of the tragedy. Evidence will in due course be presented at an inquest.

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service say they were alerted at 11.50am on Saturday. Police and ambulance staff were on the scene for about 40 minutes. No details about the woman who died have yet been  released. 

A further statement is expected after the family of the woman who died has been informed. Police officers with specialist training in fatal accidents are usually appointed to support any affected relatives.