A SUDDEN hailstorm is believed to have caused a multi-vehicle pile-up on a treacherously steep road.

Police, fire crews and ambulances were called to the scene this afternoon (Sunday, March 23) when two cars overturned, coming to land on their roofs, and a third crashed on a hairpin bend on the A170 at Sutton Bank, near Thirsk in North Yorkshire.

It is believed dangerous driving conditions caused by a hailstorm may have led to the accident.

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The road, which in places has a gradient of 1 in 4 - or 25 per cent - is closed in both directions while emergency crews deal with the scene.

North Yorkshire Police have urged drivers to avoid the area.