Penwortham man thanks drivers who rescued him from motorway ordeal

CliffCatterall,from Penworthamwas driving from a job at Manchester Airportwhen his BMW 7 series began to suffer from a mechanical failure.
CliffCatterall,from Penworthamwas driving from a job at Manchester Airportwhen his BMW 7 series began to suffer from a mechanical failure.
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A chauffeur has told how he was rescued by kind-hearted strangers after his car broke-down across two lanes of the M6.

Cliff Catterall, from Penwortham was driving from a job at Manchester Airport at around 6pm on August 10 when his BMW 7 series began to suffer from a mechanical failure.

The 68-year-old tried to make his way over to the hard-shoulder but says his car "locked" before he could make it to safety.

But the self employed driver, who runs runs his company Executive Travel, was amazed when more than 20 people stopped to offer him help.

Cliff said: "I took somebody to the airport and on my way back I started to suffer from engine problems.

"I headed over to the hard shoulder but on my way the car just stopped. It completely locked up and I was straddled across lanes one and two.

"It was an extremely busy time of day - there were cars and wagons in all the lanes.

"If you've ever been on the motorway at that time you'll know how noisy it is and there were so many cars passing - it was very frightening.

"It seemed to go on for hours but the whole thing must have only lasted around 20 mins.

"A wagon pulled up behind and protected me from being hit by passing cars.

"Another vehicle also stopped and asked me what had happened. The driver then tied a rope to my car and dragged me over to the hard shoulder.

"Highways England came out to assist and my breakdown company were out within 20 mins. They were all exceptional.

"So many people stopped to help me - there were more than 20 people in total. It was completely unexpected and I'm so grateful.

"I'd really like to reach out to everyone who helped and say thank you to them.

"Wagon drivers and white van drivers get so much stick so I thought it was the right thing to do to thank them.

"It really restores your faith in humanity."

A spokesman for Highways England said: "Our traffic sensors picked up congestion at the location of the incident, and we used our CCTV cameras to see what was happening. We then used our electronic message signs to warn drivers about the incident, and sent our traffic officers to the scene.

"If you ever find yourself in a similar situation and stop in the nearside lane next to a hard shoulder or verge and feel you are able to exit safely with any occupants, consider exiting your vehicle via the nearside (left hand) door, and wait behind the safety barrier, if there is one and safe to do so.

"If it is not possible to get out of your vehicle safely, or there is no other place of relative safety to wait, then you should stay in your vehicle with your seat belt on and dial ‘999’ if you have access to a working mobile phone.

"In all cases, switch on your hazard warning lights."