A MAJOR New Forest road has now reopened - more than seven hours after an ambulance hit a tree killing its driver and a patient onboard.

The A337 was closed between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst after the crash at 9.35am.

The female driver of the ambulance and an elderly male patient travelling in the rear, died at the scene.

A male crew member and a male relative of the patient - who were both in the back of the ambulance - sustained serious injuries.

The crew member was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital and the other man was taken by ambulance.

A police spokesman at the scene told the Daily Echo a 25-year-old man from Brockenhurst was arrested on suspicion of causing death by driving without due care and attention. He has been taken into custody.

They added the car he was driving - a blue Seat Alhambra - was involved in a minor collision with the ambulance, which collided with a tree.

The accident occured  at the A337's junction with New Park. The ambulance was travelling north when the accident occured.

The vehicle could be seen on the verge pointing slightly down towards a fence and tree. Blankets had been placed around it.

It was later screened from view.

At its peak, around 30 emergency crew staff were at the scene.

Forensic investigations have been carried out.

An ambulance spokesman said: "A double crewed ambulance belonging to South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) was involved in a collision with a tree on the A337
Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst road at 09.35 this morning.

"The ambulance was en route to Southampton General Hospital at the time of the
incident conveying an elderly male patient. The patient was accompanied in the
ambulance by a relative.

"A female member of the ambulance crew and the elderly male patient were
pronounced dead at scene.

"A male relative of the deceased patient was collared and boarded at scene and has
been conveyed to Southampton General Hospital by land ambulance.

A male ambulance crew member has been airlifted to Southampton General
Hospital by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (Helimed 56).
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is conducting appropriate
welfare checks with the families of all involved. "


Traffic was diverted from Brockenhurst to Beaulieu and heavy goods vehcles were directed through Lymington to Beaulieu. Traffic heading south was diverted to the A35 to New Milton.