THREE people have died and five others injured in a multiple collision on the AP-7 close to Benissa.
Two of the dead were killed as they got out of their car to help an injured driver and all three were hit by another car.
The incident happened during the heavy storm of rain and hail that hit the area in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The slippery and icy conditions made braking extremely difficult for cars to avoid the various vehicles which had already been involved in an accident. The three men who died were aged 31, 34 and 47.
According to sources from the emergency services, the events unfolded when a car containing only the driver left the road just short of the Mascarat tunnel.
A second vehicle, a Nissan van containing two men, was about to collide with it but managed to avoid the car and pulled over to help.
They were able to rescue the man but at that point an oncoming Mercedes lost control in the dangerous conditions, hit the three men – instantly killing two of them – and left the other man who had been rescued with minor injuries.
The driver of the Mercedes also died in the collision. In addition, two more cars hit the other vehicles which had already been involved leaving two occupants with serious injuries.
The AP-7 motorway was closed for more than six hours in the Alicante direction until it had been fully cleared of the debris.