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25 December 2014, 09:14
A woman is in hospital in a critical condition following surgery after a six-vehicle Christmas Eve collision on the M5 near Gloucester.
Gloucestershire Police say they got the first of several 999 calls shortly before 7pm to the northbound side of the motorway between junctions 13 for Stroud/Stonehouse and 12 for Gloucester.
Officers, fire crews and paramedics attended, along with the police helicopter based at Filton in South Gloucestershire.
Two other vehicles heading south were also caught up in the accident, as they hit debris from the other direction.
Police say fire crews extracted people from several of the vehicles, which included a white Citroen Berlingo van, a Mercedes saloon car, a silver Peugeot estate car, two small Honda hatchbacks (one blue and one silver) and a small Toyota hatchback.
The 38-year-old seriously injured woman from Ross-on-Wye, who was driving the Berlingo, was taken to the regional trauma centre at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
Paramedics checked over the other people involved, but their injuries were not deemed to be serious or life threatening.
PC Billy Jenkins from the force Roads Policing Unit said:
''To attend an incident such as this at any time of the year is incredibly sad and traumatic.
''It will have undoubtedly have affected many people who travelled on the M5 and particularly those who were involved in it and who witnessed what happened.''
He called it an ''incredibly difficult and complex scene'' including diesel and oil spilt over 130 metres and all three lanes.
The motorway was re-opened shortly before 3am.
Anyone who saw the collisions who has not yet provided statements to the police is now urged to get in touch on 101, quoting incident 340 of the 24th December, 2014.
Drivers with cameras mounted on their dashboards are similarly asked to contact investigators.