A MAN who was walking along the M61 has died after being hit by a lorry.

Emergency services were called to the incident on the southbound carriageway near Walkden shortly before 10pm on Monday night.

A man, believed to be in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The motorway was closed for several hours due to the collision between Junctions 4 and 5.

A police investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the man's death. 

PC Philip Shaw from Greater Manchester Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: "This is a tragic situation and my heart goes out to the man’s family.

“We are investigating how the man came to be on the M61 and are hoping the public will be able to shed some light into the circumstances surrounding his death.

“Our specially trained officers will be supporting the man’s family in the coming days and we hope to soon be able to give them the answers they deserve.”

Officers have appealed for witnesses to the incident or who saw a man walking along the M61 on Monday night to get in contact.

Accident investigation teams attended the scene last night. A recovery vehicle was later called. Motorway officers shut off Junction 4 to traffic just after 10pm.

Drivers were urged to avoid the area.

At 2am, North West Motorway Police tweeted that all of the lanes on the motorway had been reopened.

They said: "The carriageway has now been cleared and recovery has been completed. All the lanes are now being opened. Thank you for your support."

Anyone with any information shoul call police on 0161 856 4741. Alternatively call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.