Driver fleeing crash scene thwarted by 'emu attack' in Wiltshire field

The car crashed into a shop front in the Malmesbury Credit: BPM Media

A driver fleeing the scene of a crash in Malmesbury was thwarted in their attempt to escape after being attacked by an emu, according to a hotel chef who says he chased after the man.

Dean Wade, who is the executive chef at the Old Bell Hotel, says he tried to catch two suspects after a car crashed into a shop front nearby yesterday (Monday 25 July).

He said he chased them through fields, trees, forests, gardens and allotments for around 15 minutes - but when the driver made one final attempt to escape, they were attacked by an emu protecting her young.

Stock picture of an emu Credit: PA Images

"The mother obviously felt threatened and proceeded to attack him," Dean said.

"I'm a fisherman and I have been around swans when they are with their young - I know how protective mother birds are, so I thought 'there's no way I'm going in there'.

"They are massive."

Earlier, the chef had watched the vehicle skid across the road and smash into the shop. As a first aider, he ran across to see if he could help.

Dean said: "We just assumed someone had lost control of the car, but when we got there, they tried to run away."

Following the crash, the main road through the town was closed for a number of hours with police and ambulance crews called to the scene.

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “At around 12.30pm on 25 July we received a call about a single-vehicle collision in Gloucester Street, Malmesbury, where a vehicle had collided with the front of a building.

"The driver and passenger of the vehicle were seen to leave the scene, so officers carried out a search of the local area. They have both now been detained and enquiries are ongoing.”