Driver tells of 'shocking' scene after body found on M20 motorway

A driver has told of his shock when he saw a body lying in the middle of a busy motorway.

Part of the London-bound M20 near Ashford in Kent is still closed between junctions nine and 10 after police made the discovery at 6.05pm on Tuesday. The person was pronounced dead at the scene.

An accountant from Ashford said he was driving onto the coastbound stretch of motorway at about 6.20pm when he saw emergency services on the opposite side of the road.

The 21-year-old, who asked not to be named, told the Press Association: "As I entered the motorway I expected to see a crash when I suddenly realised that it wasn't and unfortunately it appeared to be a body lying in the central lane with police and ambulance staff around it.

"Because of the torches being shone by police [I could see] it appeared that the body had been struck by vehicles.

"It was very shocking. It is not a sight I would want anyone to witness.

"My condolences are with the family of the deceased."

His comments come as Kent Police appealed for drivers to check their vehicles for any signs of a collision and look at dash cam footage.

Officers are appealing for the driver of a silver Nissan Qashqai with the registration KY15 WWX or anyone who saw the car driving along the road between 5.30pm and 6.30pm to come forward.

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, which investigates offences like murder and organised crime, are trying to determine the cause of death which is currently being treated as unexplained.

Police on the M20 (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Police on the M20 (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A large green screen was put up where the body was found, and a line of police officers wearing white protective covers on their feet slowly walked the stretch of the carriageway towards the screen while examining the road on Wednesday morning.

The incident has caused hours of delays with between six and seven miles of queues stretching back to junction 11 and a diversion in place.

At 8am on Wednesday, four cars and a lorry were involved in a collision on the opposite stretch of the same section of motorway. It was closed to all traffic for several hours but has since re-opened.

A 42-year-old man who was driving the lorry has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and remains in police custody.

A man and a woman were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Police have said it is hoped the rest of the road would re-open as soon as possible on Wednesday afternoon.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vickery said: "We do not underestimate the impact that closing this stretch of the motorway has on people and I thank them for their patience. It is crucial that we ensure that all evidence is collected.

"As soon as the motorway is reopened the opportunity to collate potentially crucial information is lost.

"We are working tirelessly at the scene and I am hopeful the M20 will be reopened shortly."

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