A WOMAN was taken to hospital with suspected spinal and head injuries after her car “careered” on the M61 and set on fire.

The woman, aged in her 30s, was driving on the southbound carriageway of the M61, near Junction 4 at Walkden, when she lost control of her Vauxhall Zafira.

She is said to have hit both barriers of the hard shoulder and the central reservation, at about 8.40pm last night.

The car also collided with a truck, which sent the car spinning the wrong way and caused it to set on fire.

The woman was placed in a neck brace and on a spinal board, before being taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital as a precaution.

She had been assisted by fellow drivers, and was found sitting on the side of the carriageway when a crew from Farnworth fire station and police attended.

Watch manager Neil Unsworth said: “The car was in quite a bad way, because a truck hit the car as well, as it was careering across the motorway.

“She had managed to get out of the vehicle with the help of members of the public before the police arrived.

“The traffic stopped itself when drivers saw what had happened.”

All three lanes of the carriageway had to be closed because of the incident, with traffic being diverted off the motorway via the entry and exit slip roads.

All lanes were reopened about two hours later.