A motorist was killed in a freak motorway accident when he was hit by a shard of metal.
Police said the 41-year-old man was driving a silver Vauxhall Vectra on the M6 when a piece of metal flying through the air is believed to have smashed his windscreen and struck him, causing fatal injuries and his car to crash.
Officers are appealing for witnesses following the incident, which happened at around 11am yesterday on the northbound carriageway, just before the exit at junction 31 at Preston.
The man was taken to hospital by ambulance, but he died shortly after his arrival.
Sergeant Dave Hogarth, from the Road Policing Unit at Lancashire Police, said: “This appears to be an incredibly tragic incident where in the most unusual of circumstances, a man has sadly lost his life.
“I would appeal to anyone who was on the motorway this morning and who witnessed what happened to come forward and contact the police.
“I also want motorists to check their vehicles and loads to see if they are missing anything.
“It is important that we carryout a thorough investigation so we can establish exactly what has happened.
“Clearly this is an incredibly difficult time for the family of the man and we have specially trained family liaison officers supporting them.”
Police said the man was from Halifax, in West Yorkshire, and that his identity would be confirmed once all of his family had been informed.
No other cars were involved in the crash and nobody else was injured in the incident.
The M6 northbound carriageway was completely closed for three hours between junctions 31 and 31A, to allow accident investigators to carry out a full examination of the scene of the accident.
The motorway was reopened at around 3.15pm.
The incident caused long tailbacks and delays for traffic in the area and had a knock-on effect on the M61 and M65.
Motorists were asked to avoid the route if possible.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Lancashire Police on 101.
People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.