Three men were killed when a double-decker coach, believed to be carrying university students, collided with a stationary car on the M1, police have said.
The deaths are yet more tragedy on the half term weekend as it emerged that one person has died in a separate accident on the M40, which involved a 30 car pile-up.
The victims, all travelling in the hatch-back car which had stopped on the hard shoulder, were pronounced dead at the scene near Flitwick, Bedfordshire.
No one on the coach was hurt in the crash at about 6.45am, but a fourth occupant of the car was taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital with serious injuries.
The accident occurred between junction 12 and 13 as the coach was travelling north from the Kent area.
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A police spokesman said officers were locating and liaising with next-of-kin and had launched a full collision
investigation. The northbound M1 remains closed and diversions are expected to remain in place for the next few hours.
Drivers are being taken off the motorway at junction 12 and will find diversion signs that direct them through Westoning, Flitwick, Steppingley and on to the A507.
Anyone who witnessed the collision is urged to contact Bedfordshire Police on 101.