A van driver was killed in a crash with a 30-tonne lorry during rush hour.

The 30-year-old was killed on the A26 near Ringmer, at the junction with Wellingham Lane, at 9am yesterday.

The lorry driver, 55, from Newhaven, sustained neck and back injuries and was taken to hospital.

Passers-by stopped to try and help the van driver, from Uckfield, but could not save him.

Pictures of the accident’s aftermath show the white Ford Transit van with its front end damaged.

Its engine can be seen around 30 yards down the road.

Police shut the A26 between the Ham Lane junction and Earwig Corner while traffic diversions were put in place via Ringmer village.

Trapped Motorists experienced slow moving traffic and congestion on the B2192 to the New Road junction.

Accident investigators were drafted to the scene and the road did not re-open until about 3.30pm – but police could not reveal yesterday how the accident occurred.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service sent three engines and two technical units to the scene.

A spokeswoman for the service said the crew freed the trapped van driver from the vehicle to try to save him.

Sussex Police said the lorry driver was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and detained for treatment.

He is understood to have serious but not-life threatening injuries.

Sergeant Stacey Elliott, of East Sussex Road Policing Unit, said: “Thanks are due to members of the public who stopped soon after the collision to give what help they could.

“We appeal for anyone who saw what happened to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk, quoting Operation Tudor.”