THE M4 has reopened after a five-vehicle collision which killed a horse and required a driver to be freed by firefighters.

The eastbound carriageway between Junctions 14 and 15, in East Swindon, was completely closed this morning after emergency services dealt with the incident, which saw a van overturn.

Thames Valley Police said the incident had been caused by the van having to swerve to avoid hitting a horse which had bolted across the three-lane carriageway at approximately 4.45am.

The smash near Membury Services brought rush hour traffic to a standstill, with tailbacks stretching to the A420 and A419 in Swindon.

The number of horses involved in the incident has not been clarified, with only one confirmed dead at the scene.

The male driver of the overturned van was freed by the fire service and taken to hospital, though his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The motorway is now open, with residual delays still in place, and diversions continuing to push traffic away from the main carriageway.