Sunday, March 12, 2006

BMW hit 135mph after throttle cable jammed

BMW hit 135mph after throttle cable jammed - Irish Independent: "IT WAS a BMW with a top speed of 135mph, but the owner Kevin Nicolle never knew quite how fast that was until last Sunday, shortly after he discovered that his accelerator pedal was stuck to the floor.

In the 30 minutes that followed, Mr Nicolle sped through three counties, outran a fleet of police cars and finally careened on to a roundabout, shouting to a policewoman operator to call an ambulance because 'I ain't surviving this.'

Disaster struck as Mr Nicolle (25), was driving his pride and joy through the North Yorkshire dales along the A1, on his way home to Portsmouth in south west England. As he passed the village of Thirsk, he took his foot off the accelerator - but the car speeded up.

'The pedal was stuck to the floor,' he said.

Mr Nicolle called the AA on his hands-free phone. They told him to call the police, who dispatched four fast cars and a helicopter. For a time the brakes held the 125 horsepower engine to 70mph. The policewoman on the end of the line said that they would attempt a 'rolling stop': boxing in the car with police vehicles to gradually slow it down.

It was too late. The brakes began to burn out and the car started going faster and faster. "I honestly thought I was going to die. I was really panicking and broke into tears," he said. He overtook cars on the verge of the fast lane. He tore up behind two articulated lorries, driving side-by-side. "There was another guy in the fast lane. I tried to go through, and the guy sped up. He wouldn't let me through. What was he thinking? I had my hazard lights on and there was a helicopter above."

Then he saw the sign - Roundabout 800 yards.

It was a raised roundabout, with a grassy crest. "That's when I said: I ain't surviving this."

He remembers a loud bang, and a woman's voice shouting: "He's crashed, he's crashed."

Then he was upside down. "The car started to fill with smoke. I said to the firemen: 'Don't cut my car.' " Mr Nicolle however, survived with hardly a scratch. He says he will never drive again. "If you walk away from an accident like that you want to call it quits."


No comments: