Two boys, aged four and ten, and one woman are dead after a crash on the M6 motorway between junctions 14 and 15 northbound in Staffordshire.
The accident involved one car and happened at around 11.25am on Christmas Day between junctions 14, near Stafford, and 15, near Stoke-on-Trent.
Another two women are in hospital after being injured in the crash.
The West Midlands ambulance service originally said that three children had died, but later confirmed that two boys aged four and ten, and a 32-year-old woman died in the crash.
Emergency workers arrived at the scene to find a single car that had crashed and overturned.
The three fatalities were confirmed dead at the scene. Two women were treated for their injuries and rushed to University Hospital North Staffordshire, where they are said to be in a stable condition. The next of kin are being informed.
A West Midlands ambulance service spokesman said: “Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ambulance crews, nothing could be done to save the two boys and one woman and they were confirmed dead at the scene.
“Two adult women travelling in the car both received emergency treatment at the scene for their injuries and were transferred by land ambulances to University Hospital North Staffordshire on blue lights for further treatment.”
Three ambulances, three paramedic officers, a BASICs doctor and both Midlands air ambulances attended the accident.
Both north and southbound of the M6 between junctions 14 and 15 are expected to be closed for three to four hours after the incident.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said diversions were in place and traffic is estimated to be delayed for around 30 minutes. Police are advising motorists to avoid using this section of the road altogether.
Traffic is being diverted in both directions via the A34 and A500, the Highways Agency added.