A lorry driver trapped in his cab after a six-vehicle pile-up on the A34 could owe his life to the region's air ambulance switch to a new location in Oxfordshire.

The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance arrived at the scene of the crash near Didcot yesterday within five minutes.

It flew from RAF Benson, near Wallingford, its new base after moving from Maidenhead on Friday.

The accident, involving four lorries and two cars, occurred in the contraflow system, which is part of roadworks between the Chilton and Milton junctions.

The smash, at about 1pm, closed the busy dual carriageway and caused delays for drivers travelling in both directions.

The air ambulance could have taken 10 minutes to arrive from its old base in Maidenhead. Air Ambulance spokesman Stevie Horton said: "This quicker response could have saved the driver's life.

"The helicopter was called and was on the scene within five minutes - it would have been about five minutes quicker than if it had flown from its previous base.

"There was one man who was seriously injured and trapped in his lorry by the steering wheel. He had chest, abdominal and leg injuries.

"It took an hour to get him out and an accident and emergency consultant came out from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to oversee the rescue. We then airlifted him to the JR within five minutes."