A1 crash: Watch the moment a stolen car plunges onto the motorway below

  • The moment the car plunges onto the A1(M) below

Shocking footage released by Durham Police shows the moment a stolen car is ploughed off a bridge onto the A1 below.

The vehicle is seen tipping over the edge of the flyover at Bowburn Interchange near Durham, before debris spills out into the path of oncoming traffic.

The red Vauxhall Astra had landed on the central reservation of the motorway, after smashing through the metal barriers above, which are shown crumpled in a second video.

The footage has been released following the sentencing of Hugh Raymond Holmes, whose actions were described by a judge at Durham Crown Court as 'despicable'.

During his trial, the court heard moments before the crash around 10.30am on 21 January, Holmes overtook stationary cars at a red traffic light, almost crashed head-on into a Jeep and then smashed into a van which sent the Astra careering across the roundabout and through the crash barrier.

A woman was left trapped inside the vehicle, which had landed upside down on the central reservation of the A1(M). Credit: Durham Constabulary

A female passenger inside the vehicle with Holmes at the time suffered serious injuries including a broken neck, spinal fractures and a bleed on the brain.

She now has to use a wheelchair to get about, although it is hoped that she will walk again.

The judge said the 32-year-old from Spennymoor refused to take a breath test after the accident but there was 'strong evidence' that he was under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

Holmes, who has 28 previous convictions, has been sentenced to 32 months in prison after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury, driving while disqualified and aggravated vehicle taking.