AN elderly man is believed to have potentially driven his car with a shredded tyre for up to eight miles.

The 65-year-old was apparently oblivious and was only stopped by a public-spirited motorist on his way to a job interview.

Simon Mannion spotted the vehicle being driven erratically with smoke billowing from the tyre-less rim and sparks shooting out of the car.

Initially he thought the driver was drunk, although that turned out not to be the case.

This is The West Country:

PUBLIC SPIRITED: Simon Mannion, who stopped the car as it neared a school

Mr Mannion, 27, from North Newton, pulled up behind the car opposite Monkton Elm garden centre as it headed towards Monkton Heathfield at around midday yesterday (Wednesday).

He said: "He was struggling to get around the roadworks, so I pulled up level with him to try to stop him.

"He looked at me glazed and there was sick on the car and inside it too.

"I corralled him to the side of the road, got out and took the keys out of the engine.

"I tried to get him out of the car, but he couldn't stand up and was incoherent and didn't know what was going on.

"He looked as though he was drunk, but the ambulance crew said he wasn't and it was actually due to a medical condition. He was very poorly and said he'd driven from Bridgwater."

By the time Mr Mannion stopped the car, it was close to Heathfield Community School.

"I was on my way to a job interview at the time and it made me late," added Mr Mannion.

"But I'd much rather deal with the guy - he was only about 100 yards from a school, so I had to stop him.

"Although I wasn't on time for the interview, I managed to get a second interview."

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "We were called to the incident at 12.07pm yesterday. A man was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital and the car was seized."