Wells MP and Boris Johnson aide reveals crash 'heroism' after police car flipped on M5

An MP who sat in traffic for seven hours after a police chase ended in a crash that shut the M5 has praised an injured officer and described the dramatic incident. James Heappey, the Member of Parliament for Wells, had been attending an event in the West Country late last night (August 5) when he got caught up in the delays caused by the collision. Officers had been chasing a man wanted by another force when the smash took place near to the junction for Clevedon, flipping a police car.

A 27-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after both he and a police officer were injured. How M5 crash and closure unfolded

Mr Heappey was recently appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Both are not in a life-threatening condition, according to the Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Mr Heappey, who was recently appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to new Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrived at the scene at 9.40pm – just moments after the collision.

He said: “Traffic came to a stop very quickly – whatever we were stopping behind was only 200 metres in front. “I thought it was strange that the blue lights were already there and that the helicopter was above. “I thought that there would be a response time.

“But, when I went up to the front some hours later and it was explained that it had been a police chase, it all made sense.”

Wells MP and Boris Johnson aide reveals crash 'heroism' after police car flipped on M5A 27-year-old man has been arrested

Mr Heappey, who grew up in nearby Nailsea, then got chatting to some truck drivers who had seen the crash unfold to find out what had happened. “I had a hunch at the time that they were carrying out investigatory work,” he said. “The amount of lines on the road suggested it was very complex.

“It seemed to be a very significant crash site – which was in keeping with the number of emergency vehicles. “I think the driving of the police officer is noteworthy. “The threat assessment must have been that the guy needed stopping as soon as possible.

“To deliberately collide with a car takes a whole load of skill and a lot of courage. “We should salute them. It was an extraordinary act of heroism.

“It was on a relatively busy motorway and they didn’t worry about their safety. “They just did it.”

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Wells MP and Boris Johnson aide reveals crash 'heroism' after police car flipped on M5

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We will also bring you updates from our courts and councils, as well as more lighthearted long reads. We’ll also share your tips, pictures and videos, so do message us with your stories and updates. The 38-year-old also praised the other motorists stuck in the traffic.

He said: “I was really struck – there was almost nobody taking pictures or harassing staff. “People understood they were in the middle of a serious incident and that the police had other things to worry about. “They were just minding their own business and staying in their cars.”

But how did the MP pass the time stranded on the motorway? He continued: “Luckily there was mobile phone signal. “I passed the time by watching cultural brilliance like American Pie and Zoolander!”

A single lane was opened at around 5.20am to allow some motorists – including Mr Heappey – past.

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Speaking from Westminster today (August 6), the ex-British Army officer said he would be telling the Prime Minister about the incident – when he had had a bit more sleep. “I will chat with him,” he said. “A couple of months ago there was the footage of the Metropolitan Police officer who took out the mopeds – there’s some interest.”

Wells MP and Boris Johnson aide reveals crash 'heroism' after police car flipped on M5Boris Johnson was elected as the leader of the Conservative party and the country’s next Prime Minister on July 23

The M5 was reopened fully at around 8am, almost 10 hours after it first closed.

Motorists suffered major delays, with reports of children being ‘forced to sleep in cars’. Avon and Somerset police are now appealing for information following the incident. A spokeman said: “Anyone who witnessed the collision, or who has any information about the manner of driving of a black Ford Focus in the moments beforehand can get in touch here, quoting reference 5219179902.”

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