A driver has been killed in a road crash which closed a busy motorway for five hours.

The man who died had been driving a car involved in a collision with the rear of a lorry as both vehicles were travelling southbound along the M6 in the West Midlands at about 6.30am today, police said.

Officers from the region's Central Motorway Police Group said despite the efforts of the emergency services nothing could be done save the victim after the accident near junction 10 for Walsall.

The crash, involving an Asda lorry and a Ford Focus, prompted the lengthy closure of the southbound carriageway between junction 10a for the M54 and junction 9 while collision investigators searched the area for clues as to what happened.

The 54-year-old male lorry driver from Erdington in Birmingham suffered minor injuries but was left "badly shaken" and after assisting officers was taken home, according to West Midlands Police.

Officers are now studying CCTV and have spoken to several witnesses in a bid to piece together the chain of events leading up to the crash.

Sergeant Neil Higgins, who is leading the investigation, said: "This is a significant collision which has sadly cost a life and our thoughts are with those affected.

"If we're to fully understand what happened and to provide answers for the family of the deceased, I need anyone who may have seen the incident and who has not yet spoken to officers to call West Midlands Police on 101."

A force spokesman added police were still trying to identify who the man was, in order to notify his next of kin, and establish where he was travelling from and why.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Crews attended a road traffic collision between a lorry and a car.

"Sadly, it quickly became apparent to crews that nothing could be done to save the patient and they were confirmed dead at the scene.

"The lorry driver was assessed at the scene but later discharged."