ONE person was killed last night after a second horror crash on Dorset roads in the past 48 hours.

The A31 east of Bere Regis was closed for much of the night following the three-vehicle collision, which took place just before 6pm yesterday.

The emergency services were called to Red Post, Winterborne Zelston following the crash, which was reported by a member of public.

The incident comes just two days after 18-year-old Paul Warne from Boscombe was killed in a crash near Ringwood.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said a blue Subaru car overtook an HGV and collided with a Skoda car travelling in the opposite direction.

The two casualties most seriously injured were taken to Poole Hospital, where one later died, while a third was last night recovering at the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.

A total of 13 police officers, three ambulances and four fire engines were on the scene at the height of the incident, which involved a black Mercedes CLS 350 registered to a Poole keeper, the Subaru Impreza registered to a Somerset keeper and a grey Skoda Fabia registered to a Wimborne keeper.

At around 7.20pm, Dorset Police Control Room Supervisor Len Vickery said: “Emergency services are currently dealing with a very serious collision on the A31 between Winterborne Zelston and Bere Regis.

“The road will remain closed for several hours.”

Later that night, Bob Humphries of the force said the collision occurred after the male driver of the Subaru tried to overtake an HGV while both vehicles were travelling on the westbound carriageway.

He said the Subaru then struck another vehicle, a Skoda driven by a local man.

The Subaru struck a third vehicle - the Mercedes - which ended up in a ditch, he said.

The driver of the Mercedes was uninjured and the driver of the Subaru was taken to hospital after receiving minor injuries, but both of those in the Skoda were seriously injured.

One later died.

The Control Room Supervisor said a small green car is believed to have been "inconvenienced" in the crash and appealed for its driver to contact officers.

The Subaru driver is helping police with their enquiries, he said.

A stretch of the road remained shut to traffic both ways between the Roundhouse Roundabout to the east and the Bere Regis roundabout to the west.

The officer added: “Police investigators are asking for any witnesses to call them on 101.

“We are particularly keen to speak with a witness in a small green car that was travelling towards Wimborne and may have seen part of this incident, which would have been about 5.50pm to 5.54pm.”

Motorists were diverted on to the A35 and A350 and the usually-busy main road remained almost silent throughout the rainy and cold night.

Jade Inness, duty manager at the World’s End pub in Almer, said: “We knew the road was closed, but we haven’t heard what’s going on.

“There’s often a crash on this stretch of road, so it’s awful to hear about one again.”

To speak to Dorset Police, call 101 with incident number 368 of March 24.

Full police statement

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “On Monday, March 24, at 8.14pm, on the A31 between Winterborne Zelston and Bere Regis, a fatal road traffic collision occurred.

“A blue Subaru car driven by a male from Somerset overtook an articulated HGV travelling west and during the course of this overtaking manoeuvre has collided with a vehicle travelling east.

“The vehicle hit, a Skoda vehicle, was pushed of the road and the driver suffered fatal injuries as a result.

“The Subaru spun into another car travelling east, a Mercedes driven by a local man. That spun off the road into a roadside ditch.

“There were two passengers in the Skoda vehicle and both suffered serious injuries, the Subaru driver suffered minor injuries only, and the Mercedes driver was uninjured.

“The Subaru driver is helping police with their inquiries, after having received hospital treatment.

“Police believe that during the initial overtaking by the Subaru another vehicle may have been inconvenienced, a small green hatchback style car. Police are very keen to speak to this driver as he may have valuable information.

“Dorset Police would like to thank all the people who were inconvenienced by this collision, while the road was closed for a full forensic collision investigation.

“Dorset Police traffic department would also like to hear from any witnesses to the collision and would encourage them to call in on the telephone number 101, and ask for PC 1294 Smith from the traffic department at Poole.”