A driver has died following an accident on the A12 in which a lorry fell off a bridge and burst into flames. The incident occurred around 3:45pm on Wednesday (8 January) at junction 22 after a HGV lorry careered off Coleman's Bridge and landed on the southbound side of the A12.
The driver of the vehicle, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance services. Next of kin have been informed.
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We dispatched an ambulance crew which was on scene in six minutes and was very quickly followed by an ambulance officer, rapid response vehicle, air ambulance from the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT), and the hazardous area response team (HART).
"Sadly a man, believed to be in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene. Our thoughts are with the friends and family involved."
The accident caused major traffic disruption and motorists are being warned that the A12 is expected to be for closed southbound between J19 and J25 while police begin the extensive recovery operation, with severe traffic expected on surrounding roads.
Drivers are also being advised to exit the A12 and J25 (Marks Tey) and follow the A120 to Braintree. Exit the A120 at Panners Interchange and follow the A131 through Great Notley and Great Leighs to the A131/A130/B1008 roundabout. At the roundabout, take the first exit and continue on the A130 through Chelmsford to re-join the a12 southbound at J19.
Essex Police are continuing to ask for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to come forward. A spokesperson added: "Officers are investigating the circumstances leading up to the collision and would appeal for anyone who saw what may have happened who has not already contacted police to get in touch."
Update: Police said the A12 southbound is expected to remain closed between J25 in Marks Tey and J20 in Hatfield Peveral into evening rush hour on Thursday 9 February.
Chief Inspector Nick Lee said: "This was a serious road traffic collision where a man died.
"The recovery operation of the lorry is complex due to the nature of the load it is carrying.
"All the emergency services involved need to be sure the vehicle can be moved safely and ensure there is no risk to the staff involved or other road users.
"We appreciate this closure will disrupt people's journeys home from work and we are doing all we can to re-open the road as soon as possible. We appreciate the continued co-operation and understanding of the public."
Witnesses can contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on Essex Police 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.