POLICE have formally identified the two HGV drivers who died in an eight-vehicle collision on the M6 yesterday morning.

Alan Walmsley, 62, of Mardale Road, Longridge, Preston, was driving a SPAR lorry on the northbound carriageway.

The driver of a blue flat lorry who also died at the scene was Michael Raymond Proctor, 22, of Salisbury Street, Southport.

The accident, which happened between junctions 35 and 36 northbound at around 8.10am, involved eight vehicles - five HGVs, two cars and a van.

A police spokesman said the exact circumstances that led to the collision are subject to a full and thorough police investigation, but that investigators believe a large shunt occurred while some of the vehicles were stationary in traffic.

All of the vehicles involved were travelling in lane one of the northbound carriageway.

The other vehicles involved included a dark coloured Peugeot 307 which was driven by a 42-year-old woman from Lancaster.

She was trapped between two HGVs and suffered slight whiplash injuries. She remains in Preston Royal Hospital this morning.

The driver of a silver Renault Trafic van, a 62-year-old man from Swinton, was taken to Preston Royal Infirmary but had no injuries.

A silver Volkswagen Golf also suffered damage from the debris of the collision but the driver from Wigan was uninjured.

The drivers of the other three HGVs involved, a 26-year-old man from Preston, a 57-year-old Chorley man, and a 29-year-old from Lancaster, were all uninjured.

A police spokesman said specially-trained family liaison officers had been appointed and were ensuring that family members are supported and kept fully informed.

Anyone with information that could help investigators should call PC Andy Docker on 101.