Commuters faced delays after a lorry clipped two cars on the M66, causing one of them to spin and crash into the central reservation.
A blue Skoda Fabia, with a woman driving, and a BMW 1 series, were involved in the accident, which happened at about 7am between junctions 1 and 3.
The cars blocked two lanes of traffic, and firefighters from Whitefield and Bury were there for about half an hour.
Motorists faced delays of up to an hour at one point, but Highways Agency officers worked to clear the scene, with normal driving conditions expected at 9am.
No one was seriously hurt in the crash, and firefighters managed to force the door to the Skoda open to free the woman without the need to cut her free.