Newport Pagnell crash: Girl, 5, fighting for life as eight killed in minibus and lorry smash on M1

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A 5-year-old girl is fighting for life after horrific pile-up involving two lorries and a minibus that killed six men and two women on the M1.

A man and a woman have also been rushed to hospital with life threatening injuries, while a fourth person has suffered less severe injuries, police said.

All eight people who were killed were travelling on the minibus, while it is believed some of those on board the minibus were visiting the UK from India.

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following the early morning crash at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, and are being held by police.

The minibus is believed to have travelled from near Nottingham in the same direction as the lorries before the smash which happened around 3.15am on Saturday.

Motorists have been urged to avoid the scene between junctions 14 and 15.

Traumatised witnesses spoke of their horror as shocking images emerged of the flattened minibus.

One man described how he comforted a little girl who was trapped in the bus.

Brett Smith told the Daily Mail he gave her his jacket to keep her warm and held her.

He said: “I held a little girl by her arms, trapped inside a vehicle, for a good hour or so with the emergency services and the fire service trying to help.

“I walked home with a blanket that the ambulance service provided me to stay warm because the little girl has got my jacket to keep herself safe.

“The fire and ambulances services did a really good job.”

Ollie Miller, who witnessed the aftermath of the crash, told the newspaper: “It looked horrible, the two lorries were badly smashed and I could see a vehicle underneath one of the lorries. It was totally destroyed. The minibus was basically flat.

“I feel sorry for all those affected.”

Valerie Selby added: “If you’re on the M1 southbound Northampton or heading that way – chose an alternative route ASAP and be patient, the accident that has shut the motorway is the most horrific I have ever seen & I imagine road will be shut all day.”

A 31-year-old man from Worcestershire and a 53-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The younger man has also been arrested for drink driving.

The accident comes as more than four million people took to Britain’s roads for a Bank Holiday getaway amid chaos on London’s rail network.

Improvement works at major transport hubs Waterloo, Euston and Victoria left many forced to use the roads.

Northamptonshire Police have asked people travelling to the British Moto GP at Silverstone to allow more time for their journey as motorists complained of two-hour queues around the scene of the crash.

The Highways Agency has advised anyone travelling south to exit at junction 15 and take the A508 southbound through Roade and Grafton Regis to the A508/A5/A422 roundabout at Deanshanger.

They can then exit onto the A5 and continue to the A5/A509 Interchange. 

Chief Inspector Henry Parsons said: “Our thoughts are very much with the families of those involved in this morning’s collision, and we are currently working to locate and inform their next of kin.

“I would continue appeal to anyone who witnessed the collision and has not yet spoken to officers to please contact us.”

Anyone who has any information which could assist the investigation should call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 quoting URN 214 of 26/8.

This story is being updated.

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