A DAD was hit by a lorry and killed as he tried to rescue his pet dog, as his family stood just feet away.
It is believed the 39-year-old man was trying to retrieve his German Shepherd from the northbound carriage of the M6, near Charnock Richard Services, following a crash.
Just minutes before, the light blue Audi A4, in which he was travelling with his family had left the carriageway, hit a lamp-post, gone down the embankment and collided with trees. The man, his wife and two young daughters, who are believed to be aged around five-years-old, managed to make their way on to the hard shoulder. It is not clear how the animal escaped, but police believe it ran on to the M6 and the man ventured out on to the carriageway after it and was hit by a HGV.
Emergency services were called to the motorway just after 12.05pm yesterday.
The man, who has not been named but comes from Chorley, suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sgt Dave Tonge, from Lancashire Police, today issued an urgent appeal for witness.
He said: “I would appeal for anyone who has seen the blue Audi leave the carriageway or, more importantly, has seen the man on the hard shoulder and subsequently run into the carriageway.”
A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said one of the girls was taken to Royal Preston Hospital by air ambulance suffering from facial and head injuries sustained in the earlier crash. The woman and her other daughter suffered cuts and bruises.
The Highways Agency put a message on the matrix signs to warn drivers of an animal in the road and police said the dog was still missing.
One lane of the motorway was closed between junction 27 at Standish and junction 28 at Leyland while investigators examined the scene.
It remained shut throughout the afternoon. Anyone with information is urged to call police on 08451 253545.
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