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M25 is shut for eight hours after crash between lorry and two cars

A lorry has jackknifed on the M25, meaning the motorway will be closed for the next eight hours after the vehicle crashed with two cars near Leatherhead, Surrey.

The road to nowhere: Chaos as police close M25 until this afternoon - causing 31 miles of tailbacks - after lorry crash leaves motorway covered in diesel

  • A lorry driver battling life-threatening injuries after horror crash at Leatherhead 
  • The motorway is expected to be closed for up to eight hours, Surrey Police said 
  • Three-vehicle collision has close the road in both directions near junction nine 
  • Are you trapped on the M25? Please email to s.murphy-bates@mailonline.co.uk 

Drivers stuck in queues stretching for 31 miles on the M25 are facing an eight-hour delay as a lorry driver fights for his life after crashing into two cars.

The three-vehicle crash has completely shut off the motorway in both directions after the lorry collided with a London taxi and red Citroen near Leatherhead, Surrey. 

The driver of the articulated lorry, which jackknifed and smashed through a steel side barrier at about 4.50am, was airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

Motorists now face a lengthy wait well into the afternoon as emergency services desperately try to clear-up streams of diesel, which is covering both carriageways.

Many people have already been queuing since 5am this morning, with some taking to social media to express fears over missing flights from nearby Heathrow Airport.

Others told of their concerns over pets sat with them in their cars with no food or water as temperatures reach 73F (23C) near the capital.

The crash occurred between junction 9 at Leatherhead and junction 10 at Wisley, which connects Heathrow with Gatwick and is usually brimming with holidaymakers.

Queues are also now expected on the nearby M4 and M3, which are the gateways to holiday resorts on the south coast and south-west during the summer months.

The lorry (pictured) smashed into two other vehicles this morning and the motorway is now closed in both directions as its driver fights for life

The lorry (pictured) smashed into two other vehicles this morning and the motorway is now closed in both directions as its driver fights for life

Pictured: The lorry on the M25 today, where there are 20-mile queues after the driver was left with life-threatening injuries

Pictured: The lorry on the M25 today, where there are 20-mile queues after the driver was left with life-threatening injuries 

Pictured: Traffic is piling up on the M25 following a crash that left a lorry driver fighting life-threatening injuries

Pictured: Traffic is piling up on the M25 following a crash that left a lorry driver fighting life-threatening injuries 

The queues are currently stretching back to Godstone, causing tailbacks on the M23 as those travelling from the Brighton and the south-east head towards London.

Upon hearing the news that delays could last up to eight hours, disgruntled motorists called on the emergency services to 'hurry up'.

Police said efforts to open the road were being slowed by the process of clearing up the diesel, causing one person to tweet: 'What they cleaning it with, a toothbrush?'

A spokesman for Surrey Police urged drivers to use an alternative route in a statement confirming the collision.

'The lorry driver has been taken to hospital by air ambulance with life threatening injuries,' the force said. 'The occupants of the other vehicles are not injured.

'The M25 is closed between J9 for Leatherhead and J10 for Wisley, and is likely to be closed until mid-afternoon while emergency services are at the scene and a large diesel spill is cleared. Motorists are asked to find an alternative route at this time.'

Police said efforts to open the road were being slowed by the process of clearing up the diesel, causing one person to tweet: 'What they cleaning it with, a toothbrush?'

Police said efforts to open the road were being slowed by the process of clearing up the diesel, causing one person to tweet: 'What they cleaning it with, a toothbrush?'

The lorry (pictured) jackknifed on the M25 in between junctions nine and 10 as it ploughed into two cars

The lorry (pictured) jackknifed on the M25 in between junctions nine and 10 as it ploughed into two cars 

Pictured: Emergency services at the scene this morning on the M25, where a lorry hit two cars

Pictured: Emergency services at the scene this morning on the M25, where a lorry hit two cars

A helicopter lands at the scene on the motorway after a lorry hit two cars near Leatherhead this morning

A helicopter lands at the scene on the motorway after a lorry hit two cars near Leatherhead this morning

Drivers have taken to social media to say that they had already been trapped in traffic for several hours this morning. 

Kate Whitling tweeted that she was stuck on the road with animals in the car, writing to the police and Highways England: 'Please can we get an update?

'I'm very concerned with animals in the car and need advice. Can I get them out of the car? Are we going to start moving? Over 3 hours now. Thank you.'

Meanwhile Kate Mellor tweeted that her daughter was trapped in the chaos as she struggles to get to the airport. 

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