Two men are in Intensive Care after a suspected joy rider ploughed into their car, triggering a four-vehicle pile-up.
Emergency services were called to the crash outside the Black Bull pub in Black Bull Lane, Fulwood, at 10.50pm on Tuesday.
Police believe a white Audi A1 collided with a silver Vauxhall Zafira which was carrying three passengers.
Both vehicles then collided with a third car, a Volkswagen Golf which in turn shunted into another Volkswagen Golf car.
The 27-year-old driver of the Audi, who is from Bolton, was arrested on suspicion of unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle but was taken to Chorley Hospital with a head injury. He remains there under arrest.
Two fire crews used specialist cutting equipment to remove the doors and a boot of a Vauxhall Zafira, to free three people inside.
The driver of the Zafira, a 56-year-old man and the front seat passenger, a 62-year-old man, both from Preston, were taken to Royal Preston Hospital with serious injuries. They remain in a serious but stable condition.
The back passenger, a 16-year-old boy from Preston, was also taken to Royal Preston Hospital with a cut to his head and an eye injury.
It is not thought the drivers of either Golf’s were injured.
Sgt James Power from the Preston Road Policing Unit said: “This was a very serious incident which has resulted in two men ending up in Intensive Care in hospital.
“We are still trying to piece together exactly what happened to cause the collision and so I urge anyone who witnessed the crash or those who might have seen a white Audi car driving erratically through Preston to make contact with us.
“Similarly, I am asking anyone who may have seen people running or walking away from the area where the crash happened to get in touch.”
Those with information can contact Sgt 2942 James Power on 01772 209674 or if they fail to get an answer, call 101 quoting incident reference 1549 of July 7.