An investigation is underway after an armed man shot himself with a crossbow on the side of the M55.
The 26-year-old, from Poulton, was found by police with the crossbow at Beacon Fell, near Garstang, at 2.30am yesterday.
He drove off at speed and was pursued by police.
The man eventually stopped on the M55, at its eastbound link to the M6, at around 3.30am.
After a stand-off he fired the crossbow. Its projectile – or bolt – struck him in the face and left him with serious
He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove a crossbow bolt from his skull.
Last night his condition was described as “serious” by a police spokesman, who added: “He has surgery to remove the crossbow bolt from his skull. He remains in hospital in a serious condition and an investigation into the exact circumstances is ongoing”.
The drama caused chaos on the motorway as Fylde-coast commuters were stuck in long tailbacks while police closed off the carriageway.
Local taxi firms were also affected with drivers taking passengers on airport runs, forced to sit in traffic or take an alternative route along the A585.
The M55 re-opened at 7.45am.
Lancashire Police has confirmed the incident has now been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to investigate, but stressed this is standard practice.