MOTORISTS endured a 28-mile tailback on the M25 last night after a crash shut both carriageways.
A lorry smashed through the central reservation and hit a Nissan on the other side around junction seven in Surrey at 4pm. Three people were hurt.
The Highways Agency said that part of the motorway would be closed until 09:00 on Saturday at the earliest.
Queues of up to 28 miles built up after the crash.
Stationary traffic reached junction 10 and Clacket Lane, between junctions five and six on the Kent and Surrey border.
Highways Agency said the clockwise traffic stretched back for six miles and the anti-clockwise queue back to Wisley ran for 28 miles.
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Surrey Police spokeswoman
A Highways Agency spokeswoman said the HGV had spilled diesel on to the anti-clockwise carriageway and shed its load on the clockwise carriageway.
Traffic which had been trapped on either side of the closed section was cleared from the motorway by about 20:30.
Police allowed the hard shoulders on the closed section to be opened and motorists were allowed to leave the motorway via the closed junctions.
She said: "Road users are advised to avoid the area and make alternative travel arrangements.
"The Highways Agency will work with partners to do all we can to reopen the carriageways as soon as it is safe to do so.
Officers later confirmed the crash involved two vehicles, an HGV and a Nissan Micra.
The three people taken to hospital were the driver of the lorry and a man and a woman who were travelling in the car, a police spokeswoman said.
She confirmed there had been no fatalities.
A police investigation into the cause of the crash has begun.
Clockwise traffic was diverted on to the M23 and anti-clockwise traffic was being sent towards Reigate and Godstone on the A217 and the A25.
Gatwick Airport warned passengers of road delays in the area and said people should check for updates on the BBC and Highways Agency websites.