A 68-YEAR-OLD man died on the M61 near Horwich in the early hours of this morning.

It is believed he was walking on the motorway after visiting Rivington Services, and was hit by a lorry at about 1.30am. 

He has been named as Stephen Hayes from Blackpool.

The northbound carriageway was closed between junctions 6 and 8 overnight, with two lanes opened in time for rush hour this morning, although there were still long delays for drivers.

The incident came just 13 days after Blackburn man Gary Wood was struck by a Skoda Octavia after walking on the southbound carriageway at Rivington Services.

He was on his way home from a Tinie Tempah concert in Manchester and police are still investigating why he was on the motorway.

An investigation into the circumstances of this morning's incident is underway and officers are appealing for anyone with any information to come forward.

Roads Policing Officer Sgt Finn Quainton said: “We are still trying to piece together exactly what has happened and why Mr Hayes has come to be on foot on the motorway.

“I would urge anyone who was in the area at the time, who may have any information to come forward.

“We have informed Mr Hayes’ next of kin and specially trained officers have been with the family and continue to offer their support through this very sad and difficult time.”

The lorry driver was not arrested.

Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting motorway log 66 of April 11.