More than 120 lorries stuck in heavy snow on motorway & head teacher killed by tree as 90mph Storm Arwen batters Britain

MORE than 120 lorries are stuck in heavy snow on the motorway as 90mph Storm Arwen batters Britain – leaving one man dead.

Head teacher and dad-of-four Francis Lagan was killed when a tree fell on his car in Antrim, Northern Ireland, last night – as swathes of the UK were placed under a rare red weather warning for wind.

Devastating Storm Arwen has brought 33ft waves, plunging temperatures and blizzards to much of the UK.

Severe weather also closed major roads and a railway across the country, resulting in significant tail-backs.

More than 120 lorries became completely stranded in severe snow between junctions 21 and 22 on the M62 at 2.30am this morning – forcing the road to shut.

Gritters and snow ploughs were quickly deployed to clear the way, Manchester Evening News reports.

The Met Office's red alert warned buildings were at risk of collapse under the strain of heavy coastal gales along a stretch of Britain's north-east coast.

In Blackpool a section of The Promenade was shut off last night – with Blackpool Council warning of a "collapsed building" after the city was hit with strong winds.

Residents of nearby properties were evacuated by fire crews – and witnesses say brick and debris were scattered along pavements.

And football legend Michael Owen took to Twitter to share a picture of a huge tree which had fallen on to a road leading to his house.

The storm's first victim was a father-of-four who died when a tree fell on his car in Antrim, Northern Ireland, yesterday.

It's thought Francis Lagan had been driving with his wife and two of his children – who all escaped without injury.

He had been headteacher at St Mary’s Primary School in Maghera, Co Derry.

And the Scottish Government ordered motorists to stay off the roads because of a "potential risk to life" in the terrible storm.

The move sparked a rush to get home, as rural communities feared they would be cut off altogether.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "The decision by the Met Office to issue a rare red weather warning for strong winds signals a potentially damaging and dangerous risk to life in some areas of Scotland.

"People in these affected areas should not travel under any circumstances, including motorists.

"Yellow and amber weather warnings also remain in place for a number of areas and people should continue to exercise extreme caution and plan any necessary journeys in advance as there is disruption to transport services.


"The Scottish Government is in close contact with local authorities and the emergency services to ensure people in the affected areas receive the latest information, advice and support where needed."

The red weather warning will be in place for all coastal areas within Angus, Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

This warning is in place from 3pm on Friday until 2am on Saturday.

Meanwhile, train operator London North Eastern Railway issued a "do not travel" alert to customers as its services will be "significantly disrupted due to severe weather" until Sunday.

The firm runs trains on the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland, calling at stations including Leeds, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Network Rail closed the East Coast route north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, from 5pm on Friday.

Passengers are being warned further closures could be imposed elsewhere on the route.

Warrick Dent, LNER safety and operations director, said: "We are encouraging our customers with tickets dated for November 26 and this coming weekend to defer their travel arrangements where possible.

"We expect services to be extremely busy throughout the weekend and advise customers to check our website and social channels for the latest information."

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