A DRIVER has died following a crash on one of Hampshire's major roads.

Motorists struggled with widespread delays after police shut part of the M27 and a large section of the A31 following the accident between a lorry and a BMW.

The westbound closure of the main road across the New Forest caused rush hour traffic chaos back to the M27. The road was partially reopened by 10.30am and fully reopened by 1pm.

Emergency services were called to the crash at Poulner Hill at about 2.30am.

It involved a BMW which is believed to have left the carriageway and crashed into a parked Scania lorry.

It is understood the lorry was parked in a lay-by when it was hit from behind with a glancing blow from the oncoming car.

The force of the impact left debris from both vehicles strewn across the carriageway before the BMW came to rest 100 yards along the road.

The 53-year-old driver from the Ringwood area died as a result of the collision.

Next of kin are being informed, but police will not be in a position to name the man until all formal identification procedures are completed.

The road remained closed until 10am when officers reopened the outside lane past the accident scene.

Police were diverting traffic off the M27 at junction two on to the A326 and the A35 to Christchurch for several hours.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash.

Anyone with any information should contact Hampshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit on 101, quoting Operation Rydale, or the Crimestoppers charity, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.