A MAN and woman were taken to hospital this morning after two motorway smashes, just minutes apart.

The man, who is in his twenties, lost control of his blue Peugeot 106 on the M4 between junction 12 and junction 11.

The car landed in a field around 30 metres from the embankment, and the alarm was raised by passengers in a passing mini bus at 2.35am.

Firefighters from Dee Road and Whitley Wood spent 30 minutes helping paramedics to free the driver and he was taken to Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Jim Charlesworth, a firefighter from Dee Road fire station, said: "His injuries did not look very bad, but he was very shaken up. I think he was taken there as a precaution."

Just 20 minutes later the same crews were called to deal with a crash involving a lorry and a car on the M4, two miles from junction 13.

The woman, who is in her forties, was trapped in her dark blue Volvo convertible at 2.54am but was eventually released and taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital by ambulance.

Watch manager Rod Crook, from Whitley Wood fire station, said: "We spent around 40 minutes trying to help free the female motorist.

"We had to cut the roof and the side door to get her out. She was quite badly injured.

"The lorry driver was okay, but there was quite a lot of damage done to the LGV."