Two people were killed in separate crashes which brought chaos to the Midland motorway network yesterday.
One died in a five vehicle pile-up which brought the M5 to a standstill in the morning, and just a few hours later a motorist was killed when his car was crushed by a 35-tonne lorry which overturned just off the M6.
Motorists were stranded for several hours on both stretches of the motorway network as emergency crews dealt with the casualties and cleared the wreckage.
The first accident, involving two lorries and three cars, happened at about 7.20am on the northbound carriageway of the M5 near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, between junctions 5 and 4A.
The motorway was closed at junction 5, at the link with the A38, up to junction 4A northbound until 2.15pm.
Police said one of the vehicles involved was a stolen black Range Rover and its driver fled in another car which was following close behind.
Several people were treated at the scene but nobody needed to go to hospital. The person who died was pronounced dead at the scene. Commuters were stuck in jams for more than four hours as traffic was taken off the motorway and diversions set up.
A spokeswoman for the Central Motorway Police Group said they wanted to "urgently trace" the occupants of the Range Rover and the following car.
"The serious and unusual nature of this incident was such that the M5 was closed for much of the day while a forensic examination of the scene took place.
"We are fully aware the closure caused inconvenience to large number of motorists but hope people understand it is necessary to investigate such an incident as thoroughly as possible."
The second accident happened at 11.45am when a lorry, loaded with scrap metal, rolled over onto the car on the roundabout at the A444, off junction 3 of the M6 near Nuneaton in Warwickshire.
Fire crews used specialist cutting equipment to cut two victims free. The motorist was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 44-year-old lorry driver was taken to the George Eliot Hospital suffering from a head injury, and was later arrested by Warwickshire Police. He was being questioned last night in Nuneaton on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
The roundabout and exit slipway from the M6 southbound were closed to traffic until the early evening and drivers were diverted off the roundabout towards Coventry's Ricoh Arena.