One person suffered serious injuries and three suffered minor injuries in a three-car Route 15 crash in Milford Friday afternoon that shut the northbound lane of the highway for four hours.

According to state police, a 26-year-old Meriden man was seriously injured after the Chevy Express cargo van he was driving northbound on Route 15 struck the back of two cars that were also traveling northbound.

A state police report says that 60 feet of steel metal beam guardrail was damaged in the accident.

People who drove by the scene described it as “horrific.”

“Large work van with crushed driver's side windshield, car on side against guardrail, and one car with minor damage,” wrote one driver who passed the scene.

The accident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, but with the lengthy highway closure, traffic was backed up in Milford on the Boston Post Road and downtown into the evening hours.

The people in the other vehicles who suffered minor injuries, according to state police, were a 43-year-old woman and 18-year-old man from Bridgeport in one car, and a 54-year-old man from North Haven in the other car.

All were taken to Yale New Haven Hospital. State police say the accident is still under investigation.