Motorists were left stunned when a Range Rover was driven the wrong way down a hard shoulder on the M6 to escape a crash tailback.
The driver – and others who tried to get out of the queue – was branded “selfish” and “idiotic” by a lorry driver who recorded video of the scene in Cheshire.
Dozens of drivers were stuck on the M6 after five vehicles collided and one transporting cows overturned, forcing police to close the motorway, the Manchester Evening News reports.
But it appeared a number of motorists became impatient and decided to avoid the wait by turning around and driving in the direction of oncoming traffic.
Mobile phone footage shot by the lorry driver, who asked to remain anonymous, shows him berating the motorist, who then decided to re-join the queue.
Traffic had been brought to a standstill after a five-vehicle crash near junction 21A of the southbound carriageway of the M6, the Croft Interchange shortly before 11am on Thursday.
One of the vehicles was towing a trailer containing a number of cows.
No motorist or animals were harmed.
However given the nature of the incident recovery of the vehicles took a while, with traffic being halted for a time and delays lasting several hours.
The HGV driver who shot the footage says he could not believe someone was using the hard shoulder to try and get off the motorway in the wrong direction when the emergency services needed access to the crash scene.
The 52 year-old from Eccles said: “I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“As a lorry driver you see some stupid things on the roads but this was another level.
“At the time we didn’t know what was happening. For all we knew someone could have dead or threatening to jump from a bridge.
“The hard shoulder is there for emergency services. Just before they drove along it I saw some vets being escorted and then an ambulance.
“The driver could have crashed into them, or at worst, would have blocked their path.
“I went up to her and asked why they thought they were different to everyone else.
“They just looked at me and didn’t say anything as they knew they were in the wrong.
“There was a Mercedes driver behind her who started to follow her but then changed their mind as well.
“It’s just so selfish and idiotic.
“We were stuck for an hour in the end. It’s an hour of your life when someone could be dead or need saving. It beggars belief.”
According to the Highway Code, drivers must not stop on the hard shoulder, slip road, central reservation or verge except in an emergency, or when told to do by the police.
Driving the wrong way on a motorway is an offence in itself.