A MAN is in a critical condition in hospital after the car he was travelling in crashed into a tree.

The victim's vehicle, a Seat Leon car, collided with a tree in Slade Lane, close to the junction with Adamson Street, in Padiham, at around 9.40pm last night.

Police say that the vehicle was travelling from the direction of Church Street when it left the carriageway.

The 24-year-old man, who was the driver of the vehicle,  suffered a significant head injury and is currently in a critical condition.

While two other men travelling in the Seat Leon sustained injuries.

A 27-year-old man suffered neck, head and shoulder injuries and is in a serious condition.

A second passenger, aged 30, suffered injuries to his pelvis and ribs.

All three men were taken to Royal Preston Hospital for treatment.

The road was closed for more than four hours while accident investigators attended the scene.

Two fire engines from Padiham and Burnley also attended the collision which saw two of the men trapped inside the car. 

Crews used hydraulic equipment to rescue the driver and a passenger in the rear seat, before they were taken to hospital by ambulance. 

A fire service spokesman said: "The ambulance service took a 999 call reporting a collision on Slade Lane, Padiham at 9.54pm, which saw a car hit a tree, and was on its side, and two men were trapped inside.

"Two fire engines from Padiham and Burnley responded.

"Firefighters used hydraulic equipment to rescue the driver and a passenger in the rear seat and both casualties were taken to hospital by ambulance."

Police are appealing for witnesses following the collision.

Temp Sgt Lee Harris, of Lancashire police's roads policing unit, said: "We are appealing for information following a serious road traffic collision in Padiham.

"Three men have been injured and we want to establish exactly what happened.

"If you saw the vehicle before the collision, or witnessed the incident, please contact us."

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log reference 1470 of September 29.