Hereford & Worcester

Pensioner drives wrong way down M5 motorway

A police officer was injured at a road block which was set up to stop a 80-year-old man who had driven several miles the wrong way down the M5.

It happened as the pensioner's car was finally brought to a halt at junction 5, near Droitwich in Worcestershire.

The man, of south Staffordshire, drove about six miles in the wrong direction before he was stopped at about 01:30.

Police said he appeared to have been unwell and they were looking into whether this had affected his driving.

He was taken to hospital after being stopped. The police officer also needed treatment for minor injuries.

'Erratic and dangerous'

The grey Mitsubishi Colt was first spotted on motorway cameras near the interchange between the M42 and the M5.

Calls from alarmed members of the public also started to flood in as they witnessed the car being driven into oncoming traffic on the northbound carriageway.

Officers from the Central Motorway Police Group were at the scene within four minutes, setting up a rolling road block around junction 5 to stop the vehicle.

Ch Insp Carl Flynn said: "The nature of the man's driving was of great cause for concern, and, despite the road block, the car was still driven erratically and dangerously in the wrong direction into stationary traffic.

"Our officers bravely intercepted the vehicle and spun the car so that it was then facing in the right direction.

"Unfortunately the vehicle then collided with a police officer, who was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

"After making further inquiries it appears the elderly gentleman was unwell, and we will now investigate whether his condition played any part in these events."

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