A 25-YEAR-OLD man has died after a car crashed into the back of a lorry. 

A Nissan Micra carrying four people ploughed into a parked heavy goods vehicle (HGV), killing the 25-year-old front seat passenger who died at the scene. 

Another passenger, a 22-year-old, suffered serious injuries and was in a critical condition at the Royal Sussex County Hospital

The fatal crash happened around 1.40 on Saturday morning on the A23 Southbound between B2115 and A272, near Warninglid in Mid Sussex. 

The driver of the car, a 29-year-old woman from Surrey, was taken to hospital in a stable condition. 

The fourth passenger, a male in the back, is believed to have escaped uninjured. 

It is not yet known how the hatchback car collided into the back of the fully-loaded Mercedes HGV parked in a layby. 

It is believed the lorry driver was inside his cab sleeping at the time.

The Argus understands he was unhurt.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "Police are appealing for witnesses following a fatal road traffic collision, which occurred on the A23 near Warninglid.

"At approximately 1.40am on Saturday December 16, a black Nissan Micra with four occupants left the main carriageway into a layby. 

"The Micra then collided into the rear of a heavy goods vehicle, which was parked at the location.

"The front seat passenger, a 25-year-old male from the local area, sadly died at the scene. 

"The rear-near side passenger, a 22-year-old woman from Surrey, sustained serious injuries and is in a critical condition at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. 

"The driver a 29-year-old woman from Surrey remains in a hospital in a stable condition." 

A West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "The fire service were called around 1.37am this morning.

"The incident involved one car crashing into the rear of a heavy goods vehicle. 

"One person has died. A passenger has also suffered serious injuries."

The road was closed by police at and later reopened at 9.30am. 

Highways England tweeted: "A23 southbound has all lanes open again between B2115 and A272 following a very serious collision over night.

"No delays remain, safe onward journey this morning."

Anyone who saw the events leading up to the collision, or the collision itself is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Cranbourne.

Middlebrook Transport, the Derbyshire-based haulage firm who own the HGV, declined to comment. 

If you witnessed the crash or know who was involved, you can email andre.rhoden-paul@theargus.co.uk or call 01273 021427