An elderly woman died from shock after her arm was torn off in a horrific multi-vehicle motorway crash just hours after the Bank Holiday rush got under way.
The tragedy closed the east-bound carriageway of the M62, near Huddersfield, leading to 13 miles of tailbacks, as a major 999 operation swung into action on Friday. (March 29)
Paramedics aboard the Yorkshire Air Ambulance touched down but the woman died before she could be taken on board despite frantic efforts to save her life.
An air ambulance spokesman said: “According to the paramedic an elderly lady was ejected from a vehicle and they were unfortunately unable to save her.
“She passed away. She was certified dead at the scene. There were arm injuries. It was quite a traumatic incident.”
Eye-witnesses said a van was coming down a hill near Junction 24 of the motorway when both tyres apparently blew out.
The van cannoned into the central reservation, hurling the rear seat female passenger out into the carriageway.
Motorists at the scene said her arm was torn off at the elbow after being caught between the van and crash barrier.
An air ambulance was called and 999 workers gave the woman heart massage and the kiss of life at the scene. But she died shortly afterwards.
She is believed to have suffered a heart attack due to shock.
Tragedy struck near Junction 24 of the motorway around noon.
An eye witness said: “The van was coming down the hill and had a blow out on two wheels.
“It skidded and side swiped a Kia Picanto which smashed straight into the crash barrier.
“The van hit the barrier several times. As it hit the barrier a rear seat passenger was thrown out of the back of the van onto the motorway.
“Her arm was caught between the van and barrier and torn off at the elbow. The van hit the barrier three or four times at least.”
Eyewitnesses reported the casualty was an older woman and part of a family.
The Kia driver – a man believed to be aged in his 40s or 50s from Leeds – was treated for chest pains.
Motorists said police cars shot past the standing traffic and cordoned off the scene of the accident.
The witness said: “The woman’s arm was placed in a box in the ambulance, wrapped by the elbow. She was given anaesthetic. It was horrific.”
The motorway was closed eastbound with traffic queuing from J24, near Huddersfield, to Junction 22, midway between Manchester and Leeds.