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4 February 2016, 21:45 | Updated: 4 February 2016, 23:25
The M6 northbound between junctions 5 and 6 remains closed following a fatal crash
Drivers are advised to seek alternative routes to continue their journeys northbound this evening after a crash between junctions 5 for Castle Bromwich and junction 6 at Spaghetti.
Highways England, operations manager Colin Lowther said: “We’ve been doing all we can all day to try and reopen this key section of the M6. As soon as police finished their investigation, we examined the road, but discovered a large fuel spill had caused extensive damage to the surface.
“We always try to reopen lanes past the scene to keep traffic moving and avoid closing the motorway, but the damage was too extensive in this instance and it would not have been safe to do so.
“Safety absolutely has to come first and we are working as hard as we can to resurface some 200 metres of the affected road surface. We don’t anticipate being able to reopen until after the evening peak though and likely to reopen overnight, so we’d ask drivers to do all they can to find alternative routes.’
Traffic is advised to leave the M6 at junction 5 following the hollow circle diversion symbol on local road signs which will take traffic on the A452 north, then the A47 Fort Parkway west. Continue to the B4137 and head west, then take the A5127 north and re-join the M6 at J6. Please allow plenty of extra time if intending on following this diversion route as it is heavily congested.
There are currently severe delays on the M42 north and southbound approaching to the M6 interchange at J7/J7a and also on the M6 northbound from J4 Road users travelling from further afield bound for the North West or South West may wish consider using the M5/M42 around Birmingham.
Crash investigators are appealing for witnesses to the collision. The man, who was driving a blue Saab 9-3, collided with a lorry just before 2am.
Emergency services attended the scene but unfortunately the 26-year-old driver – the sole occupant of the Saab – was pronounced dead at the scene. The man’s next of kin has been informed and a police liaison officer is supporting the family.
The lorry driver sustained minor injuries.
All three northbound lanes were closed for crash reconstruction experts to examine the scene – and remained shut for most of the day for carriageway repairs – while a southbound lane was also shut to assist in the vehicle recovery.
PC Chris Ridge from West Midlands Police’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “We understand there were other vehicles on that section of the motorway at the time who may have witnessed what led up to the collision or the impact itself.
“We have spoken to some drivers who stopped at the scene but it’s important that anyone who was driving nearby at the time to get in touch…they may have a key bit of information that will help our investigation.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Collision Investigation Unit on the 101 number.