A van driver was airlifted to hospital after smashing into a tree.

The incident happened in Offington Avenue, Worthing, just after 10am today.

Such was the impact of the collision, the van's contents had burst through the roof above the driver's seat onto the street and the vehicle ended up on its side.

Chris Kraszewski, who is chairman of the Offington Park Residents Association, said: “My thoughts are with the driver and his friends and family and I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

“The van doesn’t look like it was well protected and the ambulance took ages to safely get him away to hospital which is never a good sign.

“It looked like he had loose carpets and bits of cardboard in the back which have come through to the front of the van on impact which hasn’t helped the situation."

The driver was airlifted to hospital after he had been cut out of the van by firefighters.

A police spokeswoman said: "At 10.14am on Wednesday July 23 police were called to Offington Avenue, Salvington, Worthing, where a white Mazda van had collided with a tree and rolled onto its side, trapping the driver and blocking the road.

"The man did not appear to be seriously hurt but was unable to get out of the van, which was badly damaged.

"Fire and rescue personnel attended to release him.

"Offington Avenue was closed to traffic between its junctions with Gorse Avenue and the A2032 South Farm Road and diversions set up while emergency services were at the scene.

"Anyone who saw the collision or the van being driven shortly beforehand is asked to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email: collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk, quoting serial 449 of 23/7."

The driver's condition is unknown.