The collision happened on the northbound carriageway of the M1 near Chesterfield between the A617, of Junction 29 and the A616, Junction 30, about 3.30am.
Staveley and Clowne firefighters were called out to the collision between two heavy goods vehicles and had to rescue one person who had become trapped by his injuries.
The casualty was freed by firefighters and was rushed to hospital by ambulance with serious injuries.
A Derbyshire fire service spokesman said: “The fire service received a call-out at 3.56am due to an RTC between two HGVs on the northbound carriageway just before Junction 30.
“One person was trapped by their injuries but were released by fire service personnel and taken to hospital by ambulance.”
The incident was declared safe by about 7am but the rush-hour, knock-on problems had only just begun and continued through the morning due to the closure of the northbound carriageway of M1 and a fuel spillage connected to the crash.
The southbound carriageway also had to be temporarily closed to allow access for emergency vehicles.
Emergency services indicated that drivers could expect continued delays throughtout the day.
There was queueing traffic northbound between J29, at the A617, at Chesterfield, and J30, at the A616, at Sheffield.
A diversion was put in operation and other motorists were diverted onto the A617 to Chesterfield and the A61 to the A619 and travelled eastbound to rejoin the M1 at J30.
Roadwork also caused delays and congestion up to Tibshelf Services.
Problems were worsened due to a broken down vehicle southbound at the A57, Sheffield, M1 Junction 31.
Areas affected included the A61 between Watchorn Island in Alfreton and the B6014 in Stretton, the A38 at South Normanton, the A38 at Derby, the A57 at Aston, the A61 at Clay Cross, the A617 at Heath and the A619, at Rother Way, Chesterfield, between A61 and A616, as well as the A6135 Derbyshire road.
Pictured, by Dave Wheatcroft, is the collision between the two lorries.