A woman was left fighting for her life after ‘jumping’ from a moving car into the path of a lorry on the M55 motorway.
The 24-year-old was the front seat passenger in a Fiat Punto heading towards Blackpool in the middle lane when she is believed to have opened the door and leapt out.
I have never heard of anything like this beforeCoun James Cameron
She was hit by a Daf truck being driven in the inside lane and suffered a broken pelvis, broken leg, and multiple other injuries.
The woman, from Wiltshire in the south west, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where she was fighting for her life.
Sgt Malcolm Bell, from Lancashire Police’s Road Policing Unit, said the incident happened on the westbound carriageway, close to the turn-off for Kirkham and Fleetwood, at around 12.30am yesterday.
He said: “We have no idea at this moment in time why she jumped out and we won’t know until we have spoken to her.
“It’s too early to say when that will be. She has had a scan in hospital and is in a life-threatening condition.
“We would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed what happened and has not yet spoken to us to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Police have spoken to the driver of the Punto, who the woman is believed to know, and the HGV driver, a 38-year-old man from Bootle in Merseyside.
He was driven home by officers suffering from the effects of shock, Sgt Bell said, but was otherwise unharmed.
No arrests were made in the immediate aftermath of the incident, which saw all three westbound carriageways closed between junction one for Preston and three for Kirkham and Fleetwood while a probe got underway.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said it is not believed the woman was being held against her will.
The closure, which lasted for several hours, saw lengthy tailbacks build up.
Traffic officers from North West Motorway Police worked to get trapped drivers off the motorway, while a diversion was also put into place.
Motorists caught in the jam were told to stay inside their vehicles following the ‘serious collision’, although no further details were given at the time.
A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said a rapid response vehicle arrived on the scene at 12.38am, nine minutes after being called.
He said the woman suffered ‘major trauma and serious injuries’ and was taken by ambulance to Preston.
The motorway was reopened almost five hours after the initial collision, at 5.20am, after recovery trucks towed away the affected vehicles and debris was removed from the road.
Kirkham councillor James Cameron said: “It’s sad to hear somebody has felt the need to jump out of a moving car but whatever reason.
“I have never heard of anything like this before and I have been around a while. I’m shocked and this is a sad occurrence but we don’t know the circumstances so I can’t comment further.
“I’m sure this will shock people in Kirkham. If anybody has any information they should contact police so they can make some sense of it.”
Witnesses have been asked to call 101, quoting reference number 0023 of November 27, 2015.