A stolen van was driven the wrong way along the A64 last night (Tuesday).
Fortunately the police were able to bring it to a halt before it caused with they described as “a potentially lethal collision with members of the public”.
Officers targeted a suspicious Peugeot Partner van heading towards York at about 6.20pm.
It failed to stop for police at the A19 Fulford Interchange and joined the A64 – but travelling west on the eastbound carriageway.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “An officer from the force’s Roads Policing Group was in a marked police car on the A64 eastbound carriageway, a few miles west of the junction, when he spotted the van travelling the wrong way, straight towards him.
“Acting immediately, the police car made contact with the van to disable it and bring it to a stop. The van continued on for a short distance before the driver and passenger abandoned it in the road and ran off.
“Other officers quickly arrived on the scene and began a search of the area, and two men were arrested in fields nearby.”
A 52-year-old man was found hiding under a bush, and was arrested on suspicion of driving whilst disqualified, drug driving, dangerous driving, failing to stop and theft of a motor vehicle.
A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle. He had with him a young dog, which was taken to a vet to be cared for.
The van had previously been reported stolen from the West Mercia area.
The officer involved was checked over by paramedics, but remained on duty. The police car’s airbags deployed, and it sustained damage, and was taken away to be repaired.
The spokesperson added: “Given the circumstances, the incident caused lengthy delays on the A64, and police are very grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding.
“Both suspects remain in custody at this time.”