A motorist has been killed in a freak motorway accident.
Police said the 41-year-old man was driving his silver Vauxhall Vectra on the M6 when a piece of metal 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 on Wednesday 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.
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.
The M6 northbound carriageway was completely closed for three hours to allow accident investigators to carryout a full examination of the scene.
It reopened at around 3.15pm.
Sergeant Dave Hogarth, from the Road Policing Unit, 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.”
Anyone with information 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.
Long delays are expected in the area and the incident could have a knock-on effect on the M61 and M65.
Motorists are being asked to avoid the area.