A DRIVER had to be cut from a sports car after colliding with a tree on the M66.

The Audi R8 came off the motorway and crashed into a tree just after the junction 1 sliproad from Ramsbottom this afternoon.

Three fire engines were called to the scene just after 4.20pm and the driver, a 29-year-old man, had to be cut from the vehicle.

He suffered a serious leg and head injury and, although an air ambulance was on the scene, he was taken to hospital by the North West Ambulance Service.

The driver’s wife was also in the vehicle but is believed to have suffered no serious injury.

Crew manager at Bury fire station, Michael Simms said: “The car went up the embankment and hit the tree.

“It was a very challenging incident and involved us cutting the car up. The tree was pretty much into the bonnet.

“We believed the car aquaplaned. A couple of passing cars stopped and witnesses reported that he wasn’t going very fast. It seems he may have lost control of the vehicle.”

Crews were on the scene for two and a half hours and the sliproad was closed during the incident.

The road was fully reopened by 6.50pm.