A DRIVER had a lucky escape when his lorry flipped on the motorway after colliding with a broken down artic.

The lorry was said to have hit the back of a Royal Mail vehicle on the hard shoulder by junction 25 near Taunton, overturning as it skidded on the southbound carriageway.

Neither driver is thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries, but commuters were affected by morning rush hour mayhem after the incident on Wednesday forced the M5 southbound between Bridgwater and Taunton to close completely until the afternoon with one lane still shut well into the evening.

Drivers heading south were diverted down the A38 from Bridgwater through North Pet-herton with tailbacks reaching as far as junction 23 of the M5.

The delays meant Somerset County Council suspended all roadworks on the A39 and A358 for four hours.

Public transport was also affected with bus passengers the main victims.

Many First services in and around Bridg-water were “severely disrupted” and Webber-Bus had to stop its 15 service at Taunton. 

Passengers travelling on to Wellington were forced to use the number 12, causing delays. 

As reported at bridgwatermercury.co.uk, the drama unfolded shortly before 3am when the Royal Mail lorry was apparently hit from behind by another lorry carrying paper, the fire service said.

Emergency services say the moving lorry flipped on its side, trapping the driver, and both casualties were taken to hospital.

One witness from Creech St Michael reported hearing an “almighty bang” coming from the direction of the motorway at around 3am.

The driver of the overturned lorry, a man in his 50s, was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, with a broken leg, the South Western Ambulance Service said.

The Royal Mail delivery driver, believed to be female, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Weston General Hospital.

A Royal Mail spokesman said it was co-operating with the police, but could not confirm whether the lorry was carrying mail or where it was going.

Ch Insp Rhys Hughes, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “One of the lorries tipped over on its side, blocking all three lanes.

“I appreciate that the closure will have caused problems for commuters and I thank the public for their patience while we dealt with this incident.”