A BOLTON man has died after being hit by three cars while walking on the M61.

The man, believed to be in his 40s, was hit at about 11pm last night on the northbound carriageway of the motorway, just before junction 6 at Horwich.

He was found trapped under a car, having suffered multiple injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is believed the pedestrian was hit by a Vauxhall Astra and two Toyota Yaris cars.

He is the third person to die this year while walking on the M61.

Police are now appealing for witnesses as they investigate how the man came to be walking on the carriageway.

His body has still not been formally identified, although this may take place later today.

The M61 was shut between junction 5 at Westhoughton to junction 6 from about 11.30pm, and reopened eventually at about 4.30pm, according to North West Motorway Police.

The fire service confirmed that a crew from Bolton Central fire station was sent to help police and paramedics at 11.17pm.

A police spokesman said: “At about 11pm officers were called to the northbound carriageway, just before junction 6 at Horwich, to reports of a collision.

“On arrival officers found the body of a man, believed to be in his 40s and from Bolton, trapped under a vehicle.

“It is believed the man, a pedestrian, had been struck by three vehicles.”

The incident follows two other pedestrian deaths on the motorway this year.

Gary Wood, aged 30, was killed in March after he was hit by a Skoda Octavia while walking down the southbound carriageway.

He had earlier been at a Tinie Tempah gig at the Apollo in Manchester.

On April 11, Stephen Hayes, from Blackrod, was killed by a lorry just north of junction 6.

Less than an hour earlier, Mr Hayes had been questioned by police, who had dropped him at Rivington Services so he could be collected by a relative.

Anyone with information can call the police's serious collision investigation Unit on 0161 8564745.