Following account taken from a British paper describing the harrowing
account of a BMW 318 with a stuck gas pedal at 130 mph. I have to
question the driver's sanity--when told his car is a write-off after he
had flipped it, he said..."I'd buy another BMW because, although there
was a problem, it saved my life in that crash." Yes, but if the pedal
didn't get stuck......
A motorist was trapped in his car driving at almost 130mph for 60 miles
after the accelerator jammed.Kevin Nicolle, 25, was unable to stop the
automatic BMW going at top speed after the malfunction on the A1.
Kevin Nicolle: 'I couldn't get the pedal off the floor. His terrifying
journey, which was followed by four police cars and a helicopter, ended
when he smashed the car into a roundabout, flipping it on its roof.
Amazingly, the former lorry driver walked away from the accident
"The whole thing was just a blur," he said. "I can't get it out of my
head. I was terrified, hysterical and crying. "Every time I close my
eyes I remember it. "It's a miracle I didn't collide with another
vehicle or cause a pile-up, but I had a lot of close shaves with
lorries and cars and swerved about trying to avoid them."
Mr Nicolle was driving back from friends in Newcastle to his home in
Southsea, Hants, last Sunday, when the accelerator on his automatic BMW
318 jammed at Catterick, near junction 53 of the A1. He then travelled
60 miles in 26 minutes, passing through three counties.
"I had been driving for quite a while when I realised the accelerator
pedal was stuck down," he said. "I had gone into the fast lane and I
couldn't get the pedal off the floor. I used my hands-free phone and
tried the AA to ask them what to do. At that point I wasn't panicking
because I jammed my foot on the brake and that was keeping the speed to
a steady 70mph. "I told the AA I couldn't slow down. I thought they
might be able to give me some advice but they told me to hang up
straight away and phone the police. I dialled 999 and spoke to a woman
and by this time I was starting to panic because the speed of the car
had increased to 100mph."
Police alerted a helicopter and four traffic cars set off to try to
catch him as Mr Nicolle kept up a running commentary, all the time
flashing his lights and sounding his horn to warn other motorists.
"My brakes were burning out and starting to fail - that's when the
speed really started to build," he said. "I could see the speed
building to 120mph or 130mph. I remember starting to shake and freeze
up. I was really panicking and broke into tears. I couldn't help it
because I thought I was definitely going to die.I was trying to slip
the car into neutral but because the car was over-revving and
red-lining I couldn't do it.
"I couldn't turn off the ignition because it would have disabled the
power steering and made it even more dangerous. I was even shouting at
the other drivers to get out of the way, I was getting hysterical. The
traffic was getting heavier and I had to take drastic measures.I
overtook someone on the verge outside the fast lane and police told me
to get on to the hard shoulder. But I passed three or four slip roads
and at one point I nearly T-boned someone trying to get on from the
"The woman operator told me the police were about half a mile behind me
but they were finding it difficult to catch me. I told them to send an
ambulance because I was going to die. I knew I was going to die.
"Then I saw a sign saying it was 800 yards to a round-about. There was
a queue of cars and I swerved round them then I tried to go round the
roundabout itself. I didn't deliberately try to crash the car to stop
myself. I remember saying to the fireman, 'Don't cut my car, you'll
damage it' but they were saying, 'Don't worry about that mate, it's
written off'. I'd buy another BMW because, although there was a
problem, it saved my life in that crash." Mr Nicolle overturned the car
at the Blyth roundabout near Worksop. Nottinghamshire police confirmed
his version of events.
A spokesman said: "Kevin was monitored doing in excess of 100mph and is
lucky to have walked away with minor injuries. He phoned 999 to say
that his brakes weren't working and was terrified for his life." The
racing green R-reg car, which Mr Nicolle had had for a year, has been
examined by police and he has been told he will not face prosecution.
A spokesman for BMW, which wants to examine the wrecked car, said: "We
are unaware of any issues of that nature with that particular model."