A 60-year-old lorry driver has been arrested after five people died in a crash between a car and a HGV on the M6 near Stoke.
Four females and a male, all believed to be adults, died in the car - a Nissan Micra.
The accident happened on the southbound carriageway, between junctions 15 and 14 at around 4.30am.
The male lorry driver, from the West Midlands, has been arrested on suspicious of causing death by dangerous driving.
A sixth person is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
An ambulance spokesman said: "When emergency services arrived they discovered a car with six occupants inside which had been involved in a significant collision with a HGV.
"Sadly, it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save the driver and four passengers. All five were confirmed dead on scene.
"The sixth occupant, a man in his 40s, suffered multiple serious injuries and received advanced trauma care by the team of medics at the scene.
"Once stabilised, the man was taken by land ambulance on blue lights to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further care.
"The driver of the lorry, a man, was uninjured."
Long traffic jams have been reported as a result of the crash and motorists have been advised to avoid the area.