Police burst motorists' tyres on A30 after dropping 'stinger' from car boot accidentally

Example of police stinger

Example of police stinger

First published in Cornwall
Last updated

Three drivers had a shocking surprise while innocently driving along the A30 on Sunday, after police accidentally dropped a 'stinger' into the the path of oncoming traffic.

Three cars had their tyres burst by the device, which fell out of the boot of a police car while officers were attending a crash near Launceston.

In total five tyres were destroyed, leaving the drivers sitting at the side of the road until they could be replaced, with one not to happy about the six hours he lost dealing with the issue.

Taxi driver John Beach said he was left for two hours in cold waiting for the RAC to recover his car after the mistake, adding that police then sent a tyre firm around to his home to replace the tyres at around midnight.

John lost one rear tyre after hitting the 'stinger' while on a trip back to Cornwall from Bristol, adding that the two other cars lost two tyres each.

"They [police] knew straight away it was their fault," said John. Adding it was a bit of shock.

The 'stingers' have long metal barbs, teeth or spikes pointing upward which puncture and flatten tires when a vehicle is driven over them.

Devon and Cornwall police have apologised to the drivers.

A police spokesman said: "At approximately 5:45pm on Sunday, February 16 a single vehicle collision occurred on the A30 at Tregadillett near to Launceston.

"A police unit attended the scene to assist with traffic management. While placing emergency signage at the scene, the stinger device fell from the boot of a police vehicle.

"The device was immediately run over by three vehicles, leaving five tyres damaged.

"None of the drivers were injured and the force ensured that all damaged tyres were replaced by a professional roadside tyre replacement service at the scene.

"We apologise for any inconvenience and distress caused to the drivers as a result of this unfortunate incident.

Comments (5)

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6:48pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Gillian R.Z. Martin says...

I would have wanted four new tyres regardless of how many were damaged, as I always have four of the same manufactures tyres and always have them replaced in pairs.
I would have wanted four new tyres regardless of how many were damaged, as I always have four of the same manufactures tyres and always have them replaced in pairs. Gillian R.Z. Martin
  • Score: -2

7:54pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Toffer99 says...

Its a good job we don't trust these people with, say, guns or tasers.
Its a good job we don't trust these people with, say, guns or tasers. Toffer99
  • Score: 1

10:12am Thu 20 Feb 14

Pendennisracer says...

So if it was a debris in the road or dare I say a child - then it's OK to run over.

Take some responsibility drivers, surely a bit of observation would have avoided this, particularly where there's warning signage out already.
So if it was a debris in the road or dare I say a child - then it's OK to run over. Take some responsibility drivers, surely a bit of observation would have avoided this, particularly where there's warning signage out already. Pendennisracer
  • Score: -14

11:06am Thu 20 Feb 14

Gillian R.Z. Martin says...

I would have thought It would depend on time and action of stinger in relation to speed and position of oncoming vehicles, it says it fell from the boot whilst taking signs from the boot, I therefore assume at that point the signs were not in position. If a stinger is that easy to avoid when they are instantly activated in speeding traffic then I would not have thought they were not much use.
I would have thought It would depend on time and action of stinger in relation to speed and position of oncoming vehicles, it says it fell from the boot whilst taking signs from the boot, I therefore assume at that point the signs were not in position. If a stinger is that easy to avoid when they are instantly activated in speeding traffic then I would not have thought they were not much use. Gillian R.Z. Martin
  • Score: 3

5:05pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

Pendennisracer wrote:
So if it was a debris in the road or dare I say a child - then it's OK to run over.

Take some responsibility drivers, surely a bit of observation would have avoided this, particularly where there's warning signage out already.
The warning signage wasn't out when the stinger was deployed, It says it fell from the boot while they were taking the signs out and was immediately run over by three vehicles, so there obviously wasn't any reaction time in which to stop or avoid it, it was deployed at point of fall. If it was debris on the road it would be visible from a distance so would a person at the side of the road, having something leap out of a car boot at the side of the road directly in front of you and spread across the carriage way would be an unavoidable impact at speed even if someone did brake.
[quote][p][bold]Pendennisracer[/bold] wrote: So if it was a debris in the road or dare I say a child - then it's OK to run over. Take some responsibility drivers, surely a bit of observation would have avoided this, particularly where there's warning signage out already.[/p][/quote]The warning signage wasn't out when the stinger was deployed, It says it fell from the boot while they were taking the signs out and was immediately run over by three vehicles, so there obviously wasn't any reaction time in which to stop or avoid it, it was deployed at point of fall. If it was debris on the road it would be visible from a distance so would a person at the side of the road, having something leap out of a car boot at the side of the road directly in front of you and spread across the carriage way would be an unavoidable impact at speed even if someone did brake. Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 4

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