Car written off as 4m wide pothole consumes front wheelPA

A driver travelling from Murlingden to Little Brechin in Angus narrowly avoided a tragic accident when a 4m wide pothole snapped the driver's side front wheel clean off.

The car sparked along the road for more than 120 yards as the driver of the Rover 45 struggled to bring the vehicle to a safe and controlled stop.

Michael Rudden, a 35-year old plumber from Brechin, managed to react quickly enough to avoid anything more serious than shaken nerves. "If that had been a motorbike or an inexperienced driver it could have been very different," Michael said.

"I was driving along the road and hit the pothole, then felt the front of the car shuddering. The wheel collapsed underneath the car and the drive shaft ripped out the gearbox. The whole car was down at the front.

"I was only going about 50pmh when it happened but the car's a write-off and I've had to buy another.

"The hole was about one metre by four metres wide and about six inches deep but there was no way I could have seen it as it was sitting full of water."

A spokesman for Angus Council said: "The extensive flooding throughout Angus just before Christmas caused considerable damage to the roads network which we are rectifying as soon as possible on a priority basis, weather permitting.

"We can confirm that this incident was reported and that we responded as swiftly as possible. Remedial work has been done in this area."

Halfords Autocentres recently revealed that UK motorists are shelling out around £1 billion a year to rectify problems caused by potholes on poorly maintained roads. As many as 8 million vehicles a year suffer steering and suspension damage which may be attributed to poor road surfaces - that's one driver affected every 4 seconds.