PARTS of the M58 were closed for eight hours yesterday after a multiple-vehicle crash in which a woman and a 14-year-old boy were killed.

A 14-year-old pupil and staff member from Pontville Special Needs School, in Ormskirk, who were travelling on a minibus, were killed in the crash near Skelmersdale between junctions four and five.

Four other people from the school have been taken to hospital.

Pontville School is for pupils with therapeutic care and behavioural needs based in Ormskirk.

A 31-year-old HGV driver from Chorley was arrested yesterday on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

A statement from Lancashire Police said: "The collision, which happened between junctions 3 and 4 Westbound, involved an HGV, a minibus and a number of other vehicles.

"Very sadly as a result of the collision two people, a woman and a 14-year-old boy, suffered injuries which proved fatal. No further details can be released at this time as we are contacting next of kin.

"A number of other people also suffered serious injuries and are being treated at hospital.

The driver of the HGV, a 31 year old man from Chorley, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He is currently in custody."

It added: "Shortly after the initial collision a second collision took place involving an HGV, a van and a car. As a result of this collision a woman also suffered serious injuries. Two men were also seriously injured.

"We are working closely with partner agencies and the motorway remains closed in both directions for accident investigations. Diversions are in place

"Our thoughts are with all of those affected by today’s tragic incidents.

"Anyone who is concerned that someone they know may have been involved and who needs to speak to police should call 101 quoting log number 0523 of today (Tuesday, January 8)

"Anyone with information about either collision should call 101 quoting log number 275 of today (Tuesday, January 8)."