INVESTIGATIONS into the death of a man who plunged from a motorway bridge brought traffic chaos to parts of South Yorkshire.
Rush hour traffic was diverted off the M18 after the south-bound section between Wadworth and Bramley was closed by police.
Emergency services were called to the stretch near Old Edlington just before 7am after reports of a Doncaster man falling from a bridge over the motorway.
He was found to have suffered fatal injuries after apparently being hit by a truck heading towards Sheffield.
The dead man, a 44-year-old from Finningley, is believed to have made his way along the B6094 at Cockhill Lane between Old Edlington and Braithwell before going over the bridge barrier and plunging about 30ft to the road below.
Police say the falling man was struck by a lorry before he hit the ground
When emergency services attended they closed all three lanes, although the outside lane was opened less than 90 minutes afterwards.
Traffic jams began building up as far back as junction three at the White Rose Way junction and motorists took alternative routes along minor roads to avoid the blocked carriageway.
The Highways Agency diverted traffic onto the A1(M) using electronic signs on the highways network controlled from their base in Wakefield, and sent its own officers to the scene. A spokesman said they could not re-open the road until the police completed their investigations.
Jams also built up on the north-bound carriageway as drivers slowed down to ‘rubber-neck’ the incident.
All lanes of the motorway were re-opened just before 10.30am.
The truck was placed on a low-loader to be driven away for forensic examination.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “We are appealing to anybody who may have seen the man on the bridge before the fall.
“Anybody with information can call 0114 2202020 and ask to speak to Sergeant Stuart Greatwood or quote incident number 179 of June 3.”
Doncaster and Rotherham Deputy Coroner Fred Curtis has been informed of the tragedy and is expected to open an inquest next week after the body has been identified.