Police had been following a Nissan Micra through Leeds during the early hours of today.
The driver of the Micra failed to stop for police on Hunlset Road at 4.36am.
He then tried to escape by driving out of Leeds and heading the wrong way along the northbound carriageway of the M1.
Police then gave up the chase for safety reasons.
Minutes later the Micra, which was still travelling against the traffic, hit a van on the M62 eastbound entry slip road of the M1.
The Micra driver died at the scene, but the van driver was not seriously injured.
The slip road is still closed and is not expected to re-open for some time.
The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Anyone with information should call the Major Collision Enquiry team on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.