Two people are fighting for their lives and a third man has suffered serious injuries in a horror crash.

Crash investigators last night remained at the scene on the A272 Cuckfield bypass near Haywards Heath which left the road closed for more than seven hours yesterday.

A spokesman from Sussex Police said the cause of the 9am smash was not known but “wintry weather” was not being ruled out.

The air ambulance attended but was unable to transfer the patients to hospital because of the weather.

Instead they were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton by road. In total four ambulances, paramedic cars and the air ambulance attended the scene.

Witnesses described how a Ford van careered into the path of a BMW and a 4x4-style Toyota Rav4.

The driver of the van was thrown through the vehicle’s window and he was left lying by the road.

The occupants of the BMW, a man and a woman believed to be in their 40s, were trapped.

Car in flames

The woman, who was driving, was particularly badly injured.

While police were freeing her from the car it burst into flames. This fire was extinguished and the man, who police said suffered “life-changing injuries”, was freed.

The driver of the Toyota suffered minor injuries.

Police described the crash as a “very serious incident”. In a statement the force said: “Emergency services were called at 8.50am.

“The three seriously injured people, two men and a woman, have all been taken to hospital.

“A considerable amount of debris and vehicle fluids have to be cleared from the road prior to it being reopened.

Police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident Call 101 quoting Operation Barnhead at

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