A PENSIONER died after the van he was driving collided with an oil tanker and became stuck underneath it on a main road into Kidderminster.

The incident happened yesterday at about 11.45am on the A449 Worcester Road at Summerfield, between VOSA and the Mare and Colt pub, closing a stretch of the road for several hours. The front of the white Citroen Nemo panel van, which was travelling towards Kidderminster, was wedged under the front of the grey DAF tanker being driven the opposite way.

The 71-year-old van driver, from the Brierley Hill area, became trapped and had to be freed by firefighters before paramedics arriving at the scene carried out advanced life support but, after being flown in the air ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, he was confirmed dead.

The lorry driver, from Gosport in Hampshire, was uninjured.

Police and accident investigators remained at the scene for several hours, studying the area and recovering the vehicles. The road was eventually reopened between the Easter Park/ Hoo Farm Industrial Estate roundabout and the A442 Droitwich Road junction at about 5.20pm the same day.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle, two paramedic officers and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford attended the scene. Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service also sent crews with ultra heavy rescue equipment.

West Mercia Police constable Lee Baker said: “This was a nasty collision which has tragically resulted in the death of a man. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

“We have begun an investigation into the circumstances and are keen to hear from any witnesses we have not yet spoken to who either saw what happened or noticed either of the vehilces involved on that road beforehand.”

The ambulance service spokesman added: “Crews arrived to find a van and a lorry that had been in a serious collision.

“The man driving the van suffered multiple serious injuries and was trapped in the vehicle. Advanced life support was carried out at the scene by medics and resuscitation attempts continued as the patient was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s major trauma unit where a trauma team were on standby.

“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of everyone at the scene and at hospital, nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead shortly after arriving at hospital.”

Anyone who witnessed the crash or who has any information should contact PC Baker in Rubery Police Station’s operational policing unit on 101, quoting incident reference 221-S-250214.