THE M62 motorway has been closed following a serious accident.
The occupants of the Audi, a 46-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman, both believed to be from Bishop Auckland, died at the scene.
The lorry driver, a 43-year-old man from North East Lincolnshire, was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Drivers are being urged to avoid using the westbound M62. The motorway has been closed between J25 and J26 while the accident is cleared. Tailbacks stretching for miles were reported.
The link road from the M606 southbound to the M62 westbound has also been closed.
A signed diversion is in operation with all vehicles advised to leave the road at J26 and follow the hollow diamond symbol via the A58, A641 and A644 to rejoin the M62 at J25.
The Highways Agency provided temporary toilet facilities and bottled water off the motorway. Anyone with urgent welfare needs should contact the emergency services on 999.
Drivers currently along the M62 are urged to stay in vehicles and follow advice on electronic signs.
Westbound entry slips at Junctions 28 and 27 of the motorway have also been closed to prevent drivers joining long queues in the diversion.