A man has died and three people have been arrested after a horror crash involving a lorry which brought the M27 to a standstill.

Police were called shortly after 12.30pm on Wednesday, February 21 to reports of a serious multi-vehicle crash at junction five, on the M27 westbound.

Officers, along with other emergency services rushed to the scene of the crash involving a Mercedes lorry, Nissan Juke and Volkswagen Polo.

Despite paramedics' best efforts the driver of the lorry, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene. His family have been notified and are being supported by specially trained officers.

Hampshire Chronicle: Footage shows fire in the same place as where a lorry had hit the gantry on the M27Footage shows fire in the same place as where a lorry had hit the gantry on the M27 (Image: Submitted)

The crash led to the westbound carriageway of the motorway being closed well into rush hour between Junction 7 for Hedge End and Junction 5 for Southampton Airport.

Lanes three and four of the eastbound carriageway were also closed.

Several hours after the crash, the lorry caught fire and a gantry was damaged.

An investigation has been launched following the collision and officers have now arrested three people on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

They are a 32-year-old man, a 37-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman, all of no fixed abode. They have been taken to hospital.

Officers remain at the scene tonight as the westbound carriageway between junctions five and seven will be closed overnight. Drivers are also being asked to avoid the area and to check before travelling in the morning.

A police spokesperson said: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will update you when we have further details on the circumstances of the collision.

"Please could motorists avoid the area and check before you travel in the morning. We once again thank you for your patience."

Officers are also appealing for anyone with dashcam footage which would help their enquiries to come forward.

The spokesperson added: "Officers are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage. Were you in the area at the time of the collision? Did you see anything that could help? Do you have dashcam footage?

"Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting the reference 44240076451. Alternatively, go online and submit information via https://orlo.uk/bq9jB"