A PRISONER has suffered serious injuries after a crash between a prison van and a lorry.

The 29-year-old was one of four people who had to be cut free after the incident on the A27 near Lewes just before 11am this morning.

The bypass remains closed in both directions between Ashcombe and Southerham roundabout as recovery work continues.

Pictures from the scene show an overturned prison van with debris strewn across the road.

The Argus:

The accident prompted a huge response from police, fire and ambulance crews on both sides of the carriageway.

Police are now appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to come forward.

A statement from Sussex Police said: "At 10.55 on Monday, police were called to a crash involving an HGV lorry and a security van transporting a prisoner.

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"All three occupants of the security van have suffered injuries. A 29-year-old man has suffered a serious head injury and has been taken to hospital in a critical condition. Two further men - no further details - sustained serious injuries requiring hospital treatment.

"The lorry driver - a 58-year-old man – also sustained a serious injury and has been taken to hospital."

Detective Inspector Sue Neilson from the Serious Collision Investigations Unit said: "This was a serious crash in which several people were injured and we are working to establish the full circumstances.

The Argus:

"If you saw what happened or the vehicles involved immediately prior to this incident then we want to hear from you.

"We're also keen to speak to anyone who has dash-cam footage of the collision, or of the broken down security van prior to the collision which occurred between the Southerham roundabout and the Ashcombe roundabout.

"Road closures are likely to remain in place until the early evening and we're grateful to members of the public for their patience while we're dealing with this.

"Please avoid the area if you can and check your route before you travel."