A woman has died after being thrown from her car and trapped under a van in a crash on the A39 near Kilkhampton this morning.
Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene of the crash, on the A39 approximately two miles out of Kilkhampton towards Bideford, at around 7.15am.
The crash, involving a Volkswagen Polo and Ford Maverick, resulted in both vehicles ending up in a ditch with one casualty, from the Polo, trapped underneath the van.
Police said the woman, who is in her forties and is from Bude, was thrown from the Polo on impact of the collision. Emergency service crews attempted to free her from the wreckage but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her next of kin have been informed but other family members are yet to be told.
It is understood the vehicles were travelling from Bude towards Bideford when the crash occurred.
The van, which has gas bottles in the back and was towing a cattle pen trailer at the time of the collision, overturned onto its side as it crashed into a ditch during the collision.
The driver, a man from Northam and in his early forties, was initially trapped but was released by fire crews and flown to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth by the Cornwall Air Ambulance. It is thought he has suffered serious but not life-threatening leg injuries. He is in a stable condition in hospital.
Another man, believed to be a passenger in the van, suffered arm and shoulder injuries and was taken to hospital.
Three land ambulances, an air ambulance and a doctor attended the scene as well as two fire crews from Bude and one from Launceston.
People took to Twitter to share news of the incident.
One user, @Seasidedolly, wrote: “Serious accident after kilkhampton, helicopter and everything, road closed, AVOID!”;
The road remains closed in both directions at Kilkhampton and is expected to remain shut for a “considerable length of time” while the serious collision investigation unit carry out an investigation at the scene. It is understood it may reopen at 5pm. Local diversions are in place and are directing traffic via the B3254.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek an alternative route.
A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service said several crews responded to the incident.
He said: “Paramedic crews based in Bude and the surrounding area, supported by an Officer and BASICS doctor, were called to the scene of a road traffic collision near Kilkhampton at around 07:15 this morning.
“The Air Ambulance conveyed one male patient in his twenties who had suffered serious leg injuries to Derriford Hospital and another male patient with arm and shoulder injuries.
“A further person died at the scene but no further details are available at this stage.”
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said crews had worked in "extremely difficult conditions" this morning. A full investigation into how the crash happened will now be conducted by the serious collisions investigation team.
It is the second serious crash to occur in that area within the last week. On Saturday, a mum and child had to be airlifted from the scene after their blue Honda Jazz overturned onto its roof.
The mum, Rachele Accleton, suffered three broken bones in her back while her son Aaron, suffered life-threatening head injuries.
Anyone who saw the silver Polo shortly before the incident travelling towards Bideford is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number 130 of 22 March.