England

A14 wrong-way woman 'inches' from hitting family

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe woman had been driving east on the westbound carriageway

Two police officers had to drive into the path of a car travelling at 50mph the wrong way down a busy road.

The 81-year-old motorist from Ilford had driven for several miles in the outside lanes of the A11 and A14 on Sunday before she was stopped at Newmarket in Suffolk.

The officers warned other drivers before heading towards the woman, who then stopped with inches to spare.

Police said the woman, who had mental health issues, would not be prosecuted.

Stephen Wood, who was on a day out with his wife and two children when he saw the car heading straight for him, said he swerved out of the way with just "seconds" to spare.

"We were within an inch of our lives, for sure. That's what I'm struggling to deal with," he said.

'Nervous time'

"People were waving their arms, windows were open, everyone was flashing and waving.

"You double-take - you don't expect to see the front of a car coming towards you."

The woman had been driving east on the westbound carriageway of the A14 when Cambridgeshire police officers Ian Manley and Chris Thompson intervened.

"She wasn't making any attempt to slow down - it was a fairly nervous time, if I'm honest," said PC Manley.

"We were potentially going to deliberately crash into her to bring her to a stop.

"Fortunately, she stopped before colliding with our vehicle, and in the end she was about 30cm (12in) from us."

PC Thompson said the woman had tried to pull off the A11 and the A14 but was unsuccessful.

"When I stopped her, she was obviously more concerned that if she'd gone into lane one [the inside lane], she would cause an accident."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites