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
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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones