This was the dramatic scene on the A24 near Southwater this morning (Tuesday March 10) after a serious collision involving three vehicles.
Photographs from the scene show a silver Ford Focus and white van were severely damaged following the incident at about 7.25am.
Three people were taken to hospital following the collision that has closed the A24 near Southwater.
The crash happened northbound near the Southwater roundabout, and involved two commercial vans and a car.
A spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service said two ambulances, two response cars and the air ambulance attended.
He said: “Three male patients were injured. A man aged approximately 50 was airlifted to the Royal County Hospital in Brighton with injuries including a head injury.
“Two further males were taken by road to Worthing Hospital - one male in his 30s with hip pain and another male of unknown age with neck pain.”
A spokesperson for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “We extricated one male using hydraulic rescue equipment.
“He was taken to hospital via air ambulance, and one other casualty was taken to hospital by road ambulance.
“The road is still currently closed for investigation.”
Two fire engines from Horsham and a specialist fire service vehicle from Crawley joined police, paramedics and the air ambulance at the scene.
Anyone who saw what happened is asked to contact police on firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Op Usher.
Many roads in the area were reported to be gridlocked and police were advising motorists to avoid the area.