A motorist is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash blocked a motorway, bringing miles of rush-hour traffic to a standstill.
The accident on the M62 near Liverpool left one car on its roof, a lorry straddling the carriageway and another wrecked vehicle on the hard shoulder.
Debris was left scattered across the motorway along with liquid, possibly diesel or petrol fuel, photographs of the crash showed.
A fleet of four ambulances were called to the crash, shortly before 7.30am on Tuesday near junction five of the M62, westbound into Liverpool.
Two fire engines and the search and rescue appliance also attended and on arrival fire crews found four cars and a HGV had been involved in the collision.
The occupants of three of the cars and the HGV had got out of their vehicles when crews arrived but another person was trapped inside the fourth car.
Fire crews used hydraulic cutting equipment to remove the door and side post of the vehicle to release this person, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said.
Three patients were taken to hospital; a man in his 30s with injuries to his arm, a woman in her 40s and a man in his 50s, reportedly suffering serious injuries.
North West Ambulance Service said they also sent a rapid response vehicle and a senior clinician to the incident.
Firefighters and police are also at the scene.
The crash affected rush-hour traffic with all lanes westbound into Liverpool currently blocked and vehicles being diverted off the motorway at junction five.
North West Motorway Police said motorists should consider alternative routes until the carriageway is reopened.