Test Valley's Chief Inspector has paid tribute to the work of emergency responders following a crash which claimed the lives of three people.

Kory Thorne praised the 999 workers following a four-vehicle collision, with the three fatalities each in a separate vehicle. A 38-year-old lorry driver involved in the crash, from Shropshire, was arrested on suspicion of drug driving and causing death by dangerous driving.

He has been released under investigation.

Kory Thorne said: “It was a really difficult day for so many people following the incident on the A303. I attended the scene and am in awe of my colleagues and other emergency services who responded.

“Thank you for the patience displayed by so many motorists. Police and partners worked hard to reopen the A303.”

Andover and the surrounding area were gridlocked on Wednesday, August 25, following the A303 being closed for 21 hours.

Police were called to the westbound A303 carriageway at around 8:40am on Wednesday, August 25. It was closed off shortly afterwards in both directions.

Highways England redirected traffic through Andover, leading to heavy delays as local and regional traffic were combined on the town’s roads, with one resident calling it “absolute chaos”.

Drivers also attempted to find their own shortcuts, leading to police having to close Winchester Road heading south through Wherwell after HGVs tried to use the “unsuitable” route, causing “a number of issues.”

During the closure, accident investigation work was carried out behind screens on the A303, with many emergency service vehicles on scene.

The eastbound A303 reopened at around 5:45pm to traffic, while the westbound carriageways remained closed until the early morning, reopening shortly before 6am on August 26.