Officers stop high speed runaway tyre on motorway
POLICE officers had to stop a tyre which was travelling at 60mph after it came off an HGV on the M6 near Shap yesterday.
The vehicle shed two tyres at about 4-20pm and one came to a stop on the verge. However, the second was travelling at speed along the hard shoulder towards the M6 southbound, about two miles north of Shap.
Officers from Cumbria police's mobile support group at the scene, who were driving a police patrol car, decided the tyre posed a serious risk to the safety of other road users.
They used the vehicle to get in front of the tyre, allowing it to strike the rear nearside of their vehicle in an effort to deflect the wheel into the verge.
A police spokesman said: "This initial contact slowed the wheel and kept it on to the hard shoulder. However, due to its weight (over 100kg) and momentum, as it touched the nearside kerb, it bounced back towards lane one and into the road.
"The officers then had to deliberately strike the wheel out of lane one, using the front of their vehicle in order to prevent it from colliding with live, high speed traffic. The officers had to do this twice before the wheel finally came to rest on the hard shoulder.
"This action caused significant damage to the patrol car but prevented a potentially far more serious incident, with the risk of a tyre striking the front of a vehicle travelling along the M6 at around 70mph."
Chief Inspector Andy Wilkinson said he believed the quick thinking of the officers prevented a serious incident.
"While their actions involved putting themselves at risk, they were able to use their high level of advanced driving skills to bring to an end a hazardous situation, therein committing to the safety of members of the public using the motorway.
"Had the tyre bounced up and gone through the windscreen of a car travelling at speed along the M6, the incident could easily have ended in tragedy. Both officers are a credit to both the mobile support group and Cumbria Constabulary as a whole."
The HGV which lost its tyres was transporting sheep. It is believed that none of the animals were injured.
The driver was served with a traffic offence report due to the condition of the vehicle.