Lancaster Canal high speed BMW crash destroyed Forton bridge after 130mph police chase

A dad nosedived into the Lancaster Canal after his expensive BMW plummeted from a bridge during a high speed crash.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 3:51 pm
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 3:52 pm

Daniel Jansen, 29, of Bramber Avenue, Peacehaven, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving before Burnley Crown Court.

Prosecuting, Lisa Worsley said on August 6 last year Jansen was behind the wheel of an expensive white BMW registered to his brother when he had no licence and was not insured to drive it.

The BMW 320I index came to the attention of Lancashire Police and Jansen then embarked on a high speed chase, undercutting vehicles on the hard shoulder of the northbound M6, before speeding onto the A6, and Stoney Lane in Forton near Lancaster.

Lancashire Police released images of the scene

Police were so concerned they abandoned the chase for fear of causing further danger to the public.

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BMW 'destroys bridge' before landing in Forton canal after M6 police chase

But Jansen continued his behaviour which ended with him colliding with a bridge over the Lancaster Canal and nosediving into the 200 year old waterway.

He managed to flee the scene despite the car's front end being submerged in canal water, and the incident prompted a social media appeal by the force.

Lancashire Police released images of the scene

But bungling Jansen was arrested when passers by saw him return the next day to try to retrieve some belongings from the scene.

He made no comment in interview but his DNA was found on the airbag.

The court was told Jansen was travelling north to see his daughter in Scotland.

Remarking members if public "could have been killed", Recorder Katharine Pierpoint imposed 10 months in prison, but agreed to suspend the sentence for 12 months after reading a letter from his mother and the fact he had remained out of trouble since he was 21.

Lancashire Police released images of the scene

He was banned for three years, with an extended retest, and ordered to complete a Thinking Skills programme requirement, a rehabilitation activity and 150 hours of unpaid work and £425 costs

She added: "On that day you made a decision to get into a vehicle and drive hundreds of miles up to Scotland when you knew you shouldn't have done so.

"While I'm suspicious as to why you owned such a valuable and powerful vehicle when you hadn't got a full licence is perhaps to one side, but it certainly shows to me a lack of judgement when you don't even hold a full licence.

"About 6pm in the early evening police attempted to stop you when you were heading north on M6.

Lancashire Police released images of the scene

"Officers activated their emergency equipment and it was clear you had seen them but had failed to stop.

"There was a high speed pursuit lasting for one junction. You were travelling at speeds in excess of 130mph.

"If any of us just sit and think about that, that must have been terrifying for anyone else travelling in a lawful way on that motorway.

"Such was the dangerous nature of your driving...the police decided to stop chasing you because they were worried what the consequence could be.

"A short time later those consequences came to light when police received a report from members of public that, perhaps not unsurprisingly, there had been a crash.

"They could well have thought they were going to find a dead body in that car.

"There was then an extensive police search - so what a waste of police time. This was the summer of 2020 and when police were having to deal with the fallout of a pandemic they were having to look for you."

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