A high speed chase across the Fylde coast came to an end when police used stingers to pop a van’s tyres.
The Ford Transit van had sped away from motorway patrols on the M55 before taking officers on a tour of Weeton, Singleton, and Poulton on Thursday evening, police said.
The whole street was lit up blue
Dash-cam footage caught by one motorist showed the blue panel van veering onto the wrong side of the road, narrowly missing an oncoming Vauxhall Astra.
It was finally stopped half an hour and 15 miles later in Preston New Road, Marton, after it was boxed in.
Two people were arrested and were in custody due to be quizzed by officers yesterday morning.
Inspector Steve Bradshaw, of Lancashire Police, said: “They tried to stop it, and it failed to stop. It took off.”
The pursuit began between the Kirkham and Marton exit on the M55 at around 10.25pm, when traffic officers noticed the van had no insurance.
After leaving the motorway, it raced down Preston New Road, turning right onto Mythop Road. It was followed through Weeton, Singleton and Poulton, before heading down Garstang Road back towards Marton, where officers used stingers – otherwise known as spike strips – to pop at least one of its tyres.
The van’s speed was reduced ‘massively’ as a result, Insp Bradshaw added.
Louise Ogden, 32, on Mains Lane, said the van went past her on Garstang Road.
She said: “The whole street was lit up blue. I didn’t see the van at first, it was going that fast. It’s lucky the roads were quiet.”
The dash-cam video, shot by Rob Waddington in Collingwood Avenue, close to the junction with Newton Drive, showed smoke pouring from the van’s front right tyre.
Still travelling at speed, it was being closely followed by several police cars.
Rob, 22, from central Blackpool, said: “We were just out for a drive and the next minute the missus said, ‘look at all the blue lights, something’s going on’.
“Then we noticed they were coming towards us.
There was rubber and all sorts flying around everywhere. If they had lost control, there could have been a few cars damaged because it was a narrow street.
“My mate was in the Astra in front and he was a lot closer than I was.”
The Astra driver was 20-year-old Adrian Hayward from Poulton, who said: “It was a very close shave. I noticed the lights on the side of the buildings in front of me and within seconds I saw the van coming towards me on the wrong side of the road.
“I swerved and luckily there was a space in parked cars. It just missed me. If I didn’t move off the road, it would have hit me.”
At 10.45pm, officers boxed the van in and finally brought it to a stop.
With the 15-mile chase finally at an end, one man got out and ran off into nearby gardens, with police dogs called in to try and find him.
The force helicopter was not used, but at least eight police vehicles were involved.
A tweet from @LancsRoadPolice showed extensive damage to the front of the blue van, while its front right wheel had no tyre left at all.
* A 26-year-old woman from Manchester, and a 22-year-old man of no fixed address, were both arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.