Emergency crews rushed to the scene of the single-vehicle accident which left a lorry on its side after it careered in to a central reservation on the dual carriageway near Stratford St Mary at 4.30pm today.
The driver, a woman in her early 60s, was taken to Ipswich Hospital after suffering “multiple serious injuries,” police said.
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman initially said she had sustained “potentially life-threatening head injuries” but later said the woman is “not believed to be in a life-threatening condition” after her condition improved when paramedics treated her on the scene.
An air ambulance arrived at the scene at 5.35pm but the woman was taken to the Heath Road site by land ambulance with air ambulance medics on board.
Meanwhile commuters have faced an evening of chaos with multiple queues up to five miles long being reported in the area after both lanes were blocked following the closure of the northbound carriageway.
Heavy congestion has been reported between Brantham and Manningtree along the A137 and around Ardleigh.
Diversions are expected to remain in place for until later tonight with specialist recovery required to remove the lorry and its container.
An Essex Police spokesman said the woman is tonight being assessed at the hospital after sustaining “multiple serious injuries”.
The spokesman added: “The female driver of a lorry appears to have lost control of it shortly before 4:30pm and struck the central reservation barrier, forcing it on to its side.
“As a result of this crash, both lanes were blocked with police closing the road at the Ardleigh Interchange to allow emergency services to deal with the incident scene.
“A section of the southbound carriageway was briefly closed by Suffolk police while their roads policing officers assisted Essex Police in removing debris from the area adjacent to the crash scene.”
Forensic collision investigators are working at the scene to identify the cause of the crash.
The lorry jackknifed in the incident, according to reports, the East of England Ambulance Service spokesman added.
Police are waiting for specialist recovery engineers to remove the lorry and its container of rice.
Diversions are being implemented by Highways Agency.
Witnesses to the crash are urged to contact Essex Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01245 240590 or email [email protected]