A suspected drug-fuelled motorist was arrested after a car was driven down the A1 on only its metal rim – causing sparks to fly across the carriageway and put other drivers in immediate danger.

At around 7.30pm on Thursday (January 26) an off-duty officer raised the alarm after seeing the blue Volvo travelling at 70mph on the major A-road despite its front tyre having been shredded.

The vehicle was seen swerving across the road, with the wheel rim dragging on the road and debris flying behind it.

Read more: Baby found lying on back seat after police stop in Darlington

Within minutes, police were on the scene and had safely pulled over the car.

Roadside checks were carried out with the man, who officers believed to be the driver, who tested positive for being under the influence of cocaine.

A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving whilst being under the influence of drugs and he remains under investigation.

Following the shocking incident, chief inspector Ian Cutty, of Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols Department, said: “It almost beggars belief that somebody would drive a car in this condition. It is sheer luck that nobody was killed as a result.

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“The front tyre had totally come off and the Volvo was seen shooting sparks on one of the region’s busiest roads, with the wheel rim dragging on the road.

“To drive a vehicle in this condition is incredibly dangerous – and this could so easily have had a very different outcome, destroying somebody’s family forever.

“We all have a responsibility to make sure our roads are as safe as they possibly can be for all road users, and I hope this sends out an important message. By driving a vehicle in this condition, you are simply rolling the dice with people’s lives and futures.

“A full investigation is ongoing into this particular incident and I would like to thank the off-duty officer who quickly alerted us. Her intervention meant we could quickly deploy resources and ensure the car was brought to a swift and safe stop.”