The scene of today's crash, in which three men were killed. (BBC)
The scene of today's crash, in which three men were killed (BBC)

The driver of a double-decker coach that hit a car on the M1, killing three men, has been arrested.

The Audi car was hit while parked on the hard shoulder of the motorway between junctions 12 and 13 on the northbound stretch of the motorway at 6.45am today.

The passengers of the coach were unharmed.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said, "The coach driver was arrested in connection with the incident and taken to Luton Police Station where he is being interviewed."

"Three men in the car were pronounced dead at the scene and a fourth man was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, with serious injuries.

"No one in the coach, which was travelling from Kent, was hurt."

Officers are contacting the next of kin of the men killed, two of whom were from Buckinghamshire and one from London, and the northbound section of the M1 between the junctions where the crash took place remain closed.

The coach was carrying as cheerleading team from Birmingham University on their way to Kent.

The crash came only an hour before a man was killed this morning in a 30 car pile-up on the M40 in Oxfordshire.

Tim Lambkin, director of Sheerness based coaching firm Travelmasters which owned the coach told the BBC: "It is too soon to comment on the causes of what happened – we have to let the police experts do their work.

"Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families of those who died and the man hurt.

"In the 31 years I've been involved in the company I've never known anything like this."