A woman had to be cut from her badly damaged vehicle following a crash involving two cars and a fish van on a notorious stretch of road.
The woman’s black Renault was involved in a collision with a white Mercedes and a van belonging to the Sandend-based J Smith fish merchants on the A96 Elgin to Fochabers road.
The crash took place just west of the Threaplands Garden Centre, outside Lhanbryde.
Rush hour commuters faced delays and diversions as the emergency services attended the scene at about 3.45pm and sealed off a stretch of the trunk route for more than an hour.
Along with fire crews from Elgin and Rothes, a special rescue unit was called from Inverness to free the trapped motorist from her car.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said: “We used cutting equipment to remove the roof of one of the vehicles, and then passed a female casualty into the care of ambulance staff.”
She added that the woman had safely been removed by about 4.40pm and police later said that nobody involved had suffered any serious injury.
Police officers could be seen sweeping debris from the carriageway in the aftermath of the crash, while traffic tailed back for miles in each direction.
Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor, Marc Macrae, was caught up in the traffic and spoke of his concerns about the area of road in question.
He said: “This is very much an accident prone stretch of road.
“It seems there is not a week that goes by that there is not an accident at these junctions.
“It is well known amongst many motorists, with the turn-off to Loch Oire and Urquhart appearing at a bend.
“ But this is getting too commonplace and it is not something we should let happen.”
Mr Macrae has raised the issue with Transport Scotland in the past and and pledged to bring it up again in the hopes that safety at the spot can be enhanced.”
The A96 was closed from the B9015 at Mosstodloch to the St Andrew’s Road roundabout at Lhanbryde.
Stagecoach apologised to customers for the delays on its 35 service between Elgin and Macduff and 38 between Elgin and Cullen.