Horse dies on M25 near Dartford Crossing

Horses on M25 Image copyright Gordon Smith
Image caption The horses were on the motorway in the early hours of Monday morning

A horse has died after it was hit by a lorry when more than a dozen of the animals got loose and ran on the M25.

Traffic was halted after the horses were seen on the Essex side of the Dartford Crossing, near Thurrock, shortly before 03:00 BST.

Highways England said the road was closed clockwise between junctions 30 and 31. But police said the horse had been hit before the closure.

The lorry driver was uninjured, Kent Live reported.

Gordon Smith, a passenger in a car who filmed the animals, said he saw between 15 and 20 horses running along the road.

"We slowed down and put our hazard lights on and I called the police and let them know," he said.

"We were right by a slip road and lorries were coming down so we moved over to warn them.

"But as we went to the side, the horses went over to the central reservation we were worried they would jump over [it]."

In the early hours of Monday, Essex traffic police tweeted: "Sadly one horse died after hitting [an] HGV before we could shut the road, a lane is closed whilst we arrange removal."

A force spokesman said horse boxes were called in and the remaining animals were safely removed from the motorway.

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