A woman has died following a two-vehicle road traffic collision on the southbound carriageway of the M1 in Northamptonshire.
The woman, who has not yet been formally identified, was a passenger in a silver Mercedes car which crashed with a white Mercedes Sprinter van going in the same direction.
A police spokesman said the victim is not thought to be local.
Another man and woman, also in the Mercedes car, have been taken by air and land ambulance to the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry where they are in a “critical condition”.
The collision happened at around 1.20pm, between junctions 17 and 16 of the M1, just south of the Watford Gap services, in Northamptonshire.
The van driver, a 30-year-old man from Reading, in Berkshire, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and is in custody at the Criminal Justice Centre in Northampton.
A police spokesman said: “The northbound carriageway of the M1 is running but the southbound is grid-locked with queues stretching back to junction 20.
“The A5 is also very busy.
“This situation is not likely to improve for the next hour or so. If you can avoid the area, please seek an alternative route.”