Police have closed the A24 southbound between Washington and Findon after a lorry struck a crash barrier and ruptured its fuel tank, spilling a large amount of diesel across the carriageway.
Just before 8am this morning (August 19) northbound lanes were also temporarily closed because of traffic backing up.
The incident occurred just before 6.30am and involved a Volvo refrigerated truck.
It suffered nearside damage after colliding with a barrier near the Windlesham House overbridge, near Findon.
It is thought it may be some time before the spillage can be cleared and the road re-opened.
Motorists are being advised to avoid the area and to seek alternative routes.
Sgt Phil Duffy, of Sussex Police’s road policing unit, said: “As well as the skid danger, the diesel oil is also thought to have damaged the road surface itself. Highways and Environment Agency officers are currently examining the scene.
“Clearly it’s a busy time of day for this to have happened, and I would like to thank drivers whose journeys have been affected for their patience.”
Anyone who saw what happened to the lorry just prior to the spillage is asked to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email email@example.com, quoting serial 162 of 19/8.
Approximately 20 litres of diesel leaked from a ruptured fuel tank of an articulated lorry.
The spillage has affected half a mile of highway.
The incident has been handed over to Environment Agency and Police.