Newport Pagnell crash: Girl, 5, fights 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 a horrific pile-up on the M1 that killed six men and two women.

Two lorries and a minibus were involved in the smash in the early hours of Saturday.

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

All eight people who died were travelling in the minibus.

Some of those on board the minibus were visiting the UK from India and Thames Valley Police said it’s possible that those who were killed were from the same family.

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.

Fatal crash: Six men and two women were killed in the smash (Twitter/ItsOllieYT)

Pictures of the vehicles appear to show a FedEx lorry with its cab crushed and the cab of an AIM Logistics lorry twisted around to the side.

Another image shows what appears to be the crumpled wreckage of the minibus on the back of a flatbed truck.

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.

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.

Chief Inspector Henry Parsons said: “The scene facing the officers who attended was complex and the recovery operation which followed was challenging.

“Tragically eight people lost their lives, with four further people seriously injured, and it is our duty to establish the circumstances of what happened.

“Officers are working to inform the next of kin of the people who died and specially-trained family liaison officers will be offering them their support. Some of those involved were visiting the UK from India and we are working to keep families abroad informed.

“This collision was deeply distressing for the members of the public who witnessed it, along with the emergency service workers who attended and displayed high levels of professionalism.”

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.

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.

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