A WOMAN believed to be in her twenties has died in a crash on the M5.

An off-duty paramedic and passers-by fought to save her but she died at the scene after her Peugeot was badly damaged in a crash with a Land Rover 4x4. Two men travelling in the 4×4 were unhurt.

Police appealed for witnesses or dashcam footage to the early morning crash, which closed the M5 northbound between Junction 5 (Droitwich) and J4A (M42) for six hours.

The rush-hour closure left some commuters trapped in traffic for hours.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said they were called to the crash on the northbound carriageway at around 5.40am.

He said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a car that had suffered considerable damage. An off-duty paramedic and bystanders were trying to assist the car driver.

“Unfortunately, despite all efforts, it was not possible to save her, and she was confirmed dead at the scene.”

Police had to turn drivers around on the M5 to allow them to exit and also closed junction 6 so that the traffic could be released.

There were 10-mile tailbacks until midday with some drivers trapped for five hours and other drivers on the A449 near junction 6 unable to move for more than three hours.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said: "As the public would expect in such tragic cases, a thorough investigation has been launched to establish the circumstances behind the collision and our thoughts are with the families involved at this difficult time.

"Enquiries are currently ongoing and we would encourage anyone who saw the collision or has dashcam footage of the moments leading up to it to come forward.

"We would like to thank everyone, especially the local community for their support and understanding.

"We do appreciate the significant impact such road closures have on local people and businesses.

"We have worked hard with key partners to ensure the length of time the road was closed was kept to a minimum and that we released as much information as possible, as quickly as possible, to keep people informed."

Commuter Mark Murrin-Earp said: “I didn't see the accident but have now been stuck for five hours as a result of this. Junction 5 to 4A is a terrible junction that requires urgent re-engineering.”

Writing on the Worcester News facebook page, Samantha Langford, said: "Feel sorry for all the people stuck in it but what's even more sad is that it sounds like someone won't get to hug their loved one again."

Byron Eacock said: “I was stuck in standstill traffic for three hours.”

Heather Scripps said: “I didn’t see anything but have been stuck on the motorway for over three hours now.”

Patsy Lee said she was stuck at Sixways roundabout, adding: "I didn't see anything of the accident. Idiots trying to jump the queue using the hard shoulder though. It is all on dashcam so I may pass it on to the police.”

Highways England put diversions in place while drivers were encouraged to avoid the area.

All lanes on the M5 were opened at around midday.

The woman’s family were told of her death yesterday morning. A formal identification is yet to take place and a file will be prepared for the coroner.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 40S of April 3.