Biggleswade man in court over A1 crash

A1 (M) RTC involving two police cars north of Norman Cross near Haddon EMN-160720-193646009
A1 (M) RTC involving two police cars north of Norman Cross near Haddon EMN-160720-193646009

A man accused of causing a crash which left the A1 shut in Peterborough for more than six hours has appeared in court.

Luke Smith, 21, of Lindsell Crescent in Biggleswade appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with driving without a licence, driving without insurance, aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving, and possessing a bladed article in a public place.

He was arrested following the crash on the A1 (M) at Norman Cross on Wednesday, which involved a number of police cars.

Mr Smith appeared in the court limping heavily - he had been taken to Peterborough City Hospital following the collision.

After confirming his identity, he was asked by the court clerk if he wished to be represented by a solicitor during the hearing - an offer Smith declined on a number of occasions.

Deliah Matthews, prosecuting, told the court the chase had seen speeds reaching more than 110mph.

She asked for the case to be adjourned for seven days for further enquiries to be made.

Mr Smith did not make any formal pleas to the charges during the hearing.

Magistrate Pete Waterfield remanded Mr Smith into custody until the next hearing, which will take place at the court on Monday, August 1.

Mr Smith will appear via video link.

Mr Smith was arrested on Wednesday, July 20 following the collision. He was taken to hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries and conveyed to Thorpe Wood Police Station on Saturday (July 23).

The chase ended when the vehicle crashed into the central reservation at the Haddon services junction for Peterborough, becoming wedged under the crash barrier. The crash also involved two police cars and two further cars driven by members of the public. All eight lanes of the A1M were closed.

Delays built up on the A15 and were made worse by a crash on Fletton Parkway at around 7pm which shut two lanes of the westbound carriageway.

The southbound A1M was reopened at 8.26pm but the northbound carriageway was not fully opened until 12.20am after Highways England had replaced the damaged crash barrier.

Motorists reported delays of five hours on the northbound carriageway.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission and The Police Standards Department have been contacted by Cambridgeshire Constabulary.