Update: Some lanes reopen after fatality on the M5 closes motorway
A MAN has died after two collisions on the M5 motorway this morning.
Police said the victim's family has been informed and are being supported by a family liaison officer.
The first accident happened at around 5.15am on the southbound carriageway between Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgwater when a car overturned. A short time later a second collision between a van and a lorry occurred in the same area.
Debris was scattered over the northbound carriageway and police took the decision to close the motorway in both directions between junction 22 and 23.
Some lanes have now reopened on both sides of the motorway.
The police finished their investigation just after midday and handed the scene over to the Highways Agency. The motorway is expected to fully reopen this afternoon.
Superintendent Chris Weigold said the decision to close the M5 was not taken lightly.
"This is a significant incident for us and we have been left with no option but to close the motorway," he said. "I know this will cause considerable disruption to motorists today as people try and get to work, meetings and to catch flights.
"While we will work to get the motorway open again as soon as possible people should expect the road to be closed for some time.
"If anyone else is planning to travel through that area today I would ask them to delay their journey if they can, and if they must travel to allow extra time for their journey and plan an alternative route."
Traffic has been diverted off the motorway at earlier junctions and along the A38, causing further congestion locally.
Anyone who witnessed either of the collisions should contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 101.
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