Terrifying moment driver went the wrong way up the M6 ​​before jumping into the Manchester Ship Canal


The terrifying moment a driver went the wrong way up the M6 ​​has been captured on police footage. David Haughton was trying to shake off pursuing officers when he carried out the dangerous stunt.

A clip of the chase shows how Haughton drives down a slipway to join the motorway, but then suddenly cuts across oncoming traffic in his van. He then drives the wrong way up the carriageway. Seconds after his dangerous maneuver a heavy truck zips past the spot where he had turned into traffic.

Haughton actually drove the wrong way down the M6 ​​twice during the incident. He then tried to escape by dumping his vehicle and jumping into the Manchester Ship Canal, but officers were waiting to arrest him on the other side of the water.

The footage was captured during three cross-county pursuits which began when police spotted a white Volkswagen Transporter on the M6 ​​southbound near to junction 21, the Woolston Interchange, in Warrington, at about 1.20am on April 6. Intelligence suggested that the driver of the van, Houghton, did not have a license so a decision was taken to stop the vehicle.

Houghton, at first, pulled off the motorway onto the A57 roundabout and appeared to stop for officers. He then made off at speed and led police on three dangerous pursuits.

Cheshire Constabulary said: “During the pursuits Houghton drove the wrong way down the M6 ​​on two occasions and traveled at speeds well above the 50mph speed limit. Despite abandoning the pursuits on two occasions due to the manner of his driving, officers continued to follow Houghton follow from a safe distance, and they caught up with him on the A50 Knutsford Road.

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“Houghton continued to drive down the A50 towards Warrington at speeds of more than 50mph before turning off onto Thelwall Lane, a dead-end road, which runs alongside the canal. He then abandoned his vehicle and made off on foot, before jumping into the Manchester Ship Canal. Houghton was kept under constant observation and arrested by officers as he arrived on the opposite side of the canal.”

The 43-year-old was later charged and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving; and failing to provide a specimen. Houghton, of no fixed address, but based in Liverpool, appeared at Chester Crown Court, where he was sentenced to 16 months. He was also banned from driving for two years.

Thelwall Lane in Warrington, where David Houghton abandoned his van, and swam across the Manchester Ship Canal in a failed attempt to escape pursuing police

Following the case, Police Constable Phil Halliday, from the Cheshire Police Roads and Crime Unit, said: “This was among the most dangerous driving I have come across in my nine-year policing career. During the pursuits Houghton showed no regard for the safety of our officers or the other innocent road users, repeatedly traveling at excess speeds and even driving the wrong way down the motorway on two occasions.

“However, despite his repeated attempts to evade officers, there really was nowhere to hide and he is now facing the consequences of his actions.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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