Man drove children wrong way on motorway

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The Independent Online

A man who drove three young children the wrong way up a motorway slip road then tried to ram a police car is in custody today, police said.

The children, aged five, two and 18 months, were found in the red Ford Transit van after it became wedged in trees on the A177 near Bowburn, County Durham, last night.

Durham Police said the driver, a 34-year-old man from West Cornforth, County Durham, fled the scene but was arrested after a short pursuit on foot.

The van was spotted by officers in an unmarked police car on the A690 in Carrville at around 10.30pm.

It was seen to turn on to the slip road of the A1(M) southbound at junction 62 in the right direction, but the driver then suddenly performed a u-turn and drove back.

A short time later, an off-duty police officer spotted the van travelling southwards on the A1(M) without its rear lights. Durham Police then began following the vehicle along the motorway.

The driver left the motorway at junction 61 and attempted to ram a BMW police car as it turned the wrong way onto the roundabout. He drove off towards the Bowburn Services on the A177 and crashed the car into trees on the side of the road.

Durham Police said officers found a 25-year-old woman in the front seat of the van. Two more adults, a man and a woman both in their 20s, were also discovered in the vehicle.

A Durham Police spokesman said the driver was taken to Newton Aycliffe police station on suspicion of dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.