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The motorway was shut between junction 16 at Barthomley and 18 at Holmes Chapel for almost 11 hours when two HGVs collided, causing one to jack-knife and block three lanes of the southbound carriageway.
The other vehicle left the road and came to rest in a ditch. The second collision involved a car and a van.
Lanes two and three of the northbound carriageway were later closed to assist the emergency services in the rescue operation, Cheshire Police said.
The dead driver was initially trapped in his cab and had to be freed by fire crews before being treated by paramedics at the scene. He died a short time later.
He was driving a foreign-registered vehicle and a police spokeswoman said inquiries are ongoing to identify him and locate his next of kin.
Nobody else was injured.
Police warned that tailbacks had quickly developed from the scene of the collision and there was congestion in the surrounding areas.
A spokeswoman said: ``Motorists were urged to seek alternative routes or delay their journey as the lanes are expected to remain closed for some time.''
Anyone who witnessed either incident should call the North West Police Motorway Group on 101.