Six killed in pile-up near Brighton

At least six people were killed and several others seriously injured in an accident yesterday as motorists made their way home from the South Coast. Sussex Police described the scene on the A23 north of Brighton as "carnage".

The dead are believed to include three men and three women.

Four or five vehicles on both sides of the dual carriageway are believed to have been involved in the crash. Police think that one car ploughed through the central reservation into the path of oncoming traffic.

A four-year-old boy, a woman in her twenties and a man in his thirties were among the most seriously injured. At least three people had to be cut free by firefighters. Several people with minor injuries were taken to hospital after being given first aid at the scene.

The accident happened at 4.30pm, just north of Brighton, as thousands of people made their way home after one of the hottest days of the year so far.

Police categorised the crash, close to the junction of the A23 and the A27, as a major accident. They also quickly warned of serious traffic problems throughout West Sussex.

A 10-mile stretch of the A23 ­ the main London to Brighton road ­ was closed in both directions and was expected to remain shut "for some time" as police and fire officers tried to free casualties from several crushed vehicles.

The four-year-old boy was being treated last night in the intensive-care unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. A hospital spokesman confirmed that the child had been admitted suffering from "very serious injuries".

Other casualties were taken to the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, including the young woman, said also to be in a very serious condition.

Several fire crews, six ambulances and police attended the scene, between Patcham and Pyecombe. "It was a horrific crash, involving at least seven vehicles," the Sussex Ambulance Service spokes-woman said. "There have been a number of fatalities at the scene. Six others have been taken to hospital ... A senior paramedic said that it was one of the most horrific incidents he had attended."

Police were trying to establish the cause of the pile-up last night. A spokesman said: "We are looking at the possibility that a car travelling south has crossed the central reservation and been in collision with a number of vehicles in the northbound lane."

Roads from Cornwall to Sussex were already clogged when the accident happened, with the A23 one of the busiest routes, as thousands made their way home from coastal resorts. Temperatures in southern England had been almost 10C above the monthly average.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'