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The loose horse was struck on Monday afternoon on the M1 near Wakefield bringing the traffic to a complete standstill. The motorway was closed in both directions after a number of horses from a nearby field got loose and ran onto the busy carriageway. It has been suggested that the animals came from a nearby hill, which is set to host the Lee Gap Horse fair tomorrow in West Ardsley, Yorkshire.
West Yorkshire Police were called to the scene at about 1.17pm following reports of a crash.
The incident took place on the M1 Northbound near junction 41.
A number of drivers, who were stuck in traffic, took to social media while the incident was ongoing to share their ordeals.
One of them shared a video showing several horses running along the M1, while they waited with their engines turned off.
The driver wrote alongside the footage: “Horses running riot on M1 Northbound just before A650 junction.”
He can also be heard saying in the video: “And back there again. When was the last time you saw horses running up the M1. Standstill traffic for horses.”
Another person added: “How’s your Monday going? Mine? I’m sat on the M1, both sides of the road closed… why? TWO HORSES DECIDED TO GO FOR A RUN ON THE MOTORWAY???”
A third said: “Tried to nip home for a few hours this evening, thought the commute would be easy NOPE horses loose on the M1 and sat at standstill in the boiling heat for half an hour.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Parked up on M1 just before J41, roads been shut now as there are horses running loose on road. 30 minutes I’ve been sat with engine off.”
Highways England issued a statement shortly after confirming one of the horses had been struck by a car.
A police statement added: “Emergency services were called to the M1 Northbound near junction 41 at about 1.17pm today a report of a collision.
“Police attended to find a car that had been in collision with a horse that sadly died as a result of injuries sustained.
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“It is believed the horse and a small number of others had got loose from a nearby field.
“A full closure was put on both sides of the carriageway while the other animals were made safe.
“The southbound carriageway was reopened at 1.48pm and work has been ongoing to clear the affected northbound carriageway.
“Police and highways officials have been working to take traffic caught in the northbound closure off the motorway via junction 40.
“Drivers are urged to avoid the area while recovery work is carried out.”
The M1 Southbound reopened shortly after the full closure.
However, diversions are still ongoing with the M1 Northbound experiencing delays.
Drivers have also been urged to avoid the area while recovery work is carried out.
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