Runaway wheel drum causes chaos on M23

A large metal wheel drum caused chaos on the M23 as it bashed into several vehicles before smashing through the windscreen of a car.

Monday, 26th June 2017, 6:46 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:08 am

Commuters were covered in glass after the drum crashed through the windscreen of a black Audi Q7, hitting a passenger as they slept.

Two other cars were also damaged as the runaway drum was knocked around the busy motorway, close to Gatwick, yesterday evening (June 25).

Police said the wheel drum ‘found its way’ onto the southbound carriageway at about 5.15pm.

It struck a beige Volkswagen Passat, causing one of its front tyres to blow-out.

The drum then got knocked onto the northbound carriageway where it smashed through the central reservation and struck a black Volvo XC 90.

Officers said the drum was then sent back down the northbound carriageway where it collided with the front nearside of the Audi.

It smashed through the windscreen causing massive damage and hit a sleeping front seat passenger. Police said they escaped with minor injuries.

The drum also struck the rear offside seat of the car, narrowly avoiding the rear seat passenger.

Police said all occupants were covered in glass and were taken to East Surrey Hospital for treatment.

PC Darren Pemble, who is investigating the incident, said: “Although a number of people were treated for minor injuries, it is just fortunate that this did not cause a more serious, or even fatal, collision.

“We do not know where the metal drum came from, although we suspect it must have become detached from another vehicle. I would like to speak to anyone who can help us pinpoint how the drum ended up on the M23 or anyone who witnessed this incident, or can offer any more information.”

Anyone with any information can contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting incident reference P17158348 or can use the online reporting system at and enter the reference number in the ‘Additional information’ section.

Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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