Two elderly people are fighting for life following a three-car crash in west Dorset. 

Emergency services were called to the A35 near Morcombelake shortly before 8.30am yesterday morning to reports of a three-car collision involving a silver Citroen C3, a silver BMW 320 convertible and a silver Vauxhall Astra.

The driver of the Citroen was a 77-year-old woman from Bridport who sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to Derriford hospital by air ambulance. Her passenger, an 81-year-old Bridport man, also sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital in Exeter.

A 27-year-old man from Weymouth, who was the driver of the BMW, sustained minor injuries and was taken to Dorset County Hospital, while the driver of the Vauxhall, a man aged in his 60s and from Hampshire, was uninjured. 

The road was closed for eight hours to allow collision investigators to carry out a full and thorough examination of the scene.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Police Sergeant Fern Graham, of the traffic unit, said: “I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the collision or the manner of driving of either of the three vehicles prior to the incident to please get in touch.

“I would ask that anybody who was in the area at the time to consider any dashcam footage they may have which could assist me in my investigation.

“Also, I would like to thank motorists for their patience while the road closure was in place to allow emergency services to deal with the collision.”

Police, paramedics and firefighters from Charmouth and Lyme Regis were called to the scene yesterday morning. 

A spokesman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "On arrival crews found three persons trapped. Crews extricated the casualties using hydraulic cutting equipment and handed them into the care of ambulance."

Local closures were in place and the A35 between Bridport and Axminster was completely closed for most of the day.

Motorist Donna Street was driving from her home in Lyme Regis to Bournemouth with her family. As traffic diverted away from the A35 and into the surrounding country lanes it became 'completely gridlocked' she said. 

"Nobody knew what was going on," she said. "We followed the traffic and were stuck on Berne Lane. Cars were trying to get down a single lane in both directions."

Anyone with information can contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident number 17:107.