A DRIVER who crashed into the central barrier on a motorway was trying to kill himself.

Blackburn magistrates heard earlier the same day Grant Cameron Eddleston had tried to take his own life by hanging.

Eddleston, 32, of The Queens Hotel, Burnley Road, Cliviger, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop after a road traffic accident, resisting arrest and racially aggravated threatening behaviour. He was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, banned from driving for 42 months and ordered to pay £250 compensation to the female police officer he racially abused.

Scott Parker, prosecuting, said Eddleston crashed into the central barrier on the M55 in Blackpool. When a witness stopped to see if he could help Eddleston got out of the driver’s side, crossed the motorway and climbed a fence into a field and ran off.

He was tracked by a police dog and eventually arrested after being pepper sprayed twice and bitten by the dog.

A female officer who was involved in the arrest was subjected to a period of sustained, racist abuse which Mr Parker described as “horrendous.”

Sacha Waxman, defending, said on first view it looked like a drunken collision and an attempt to evade justice.

“It was in fact a deliberate collision in an attempt to take his own life,” said Miss Waxman. “Earlier the same day he had tried to hang himself.”

Miss Waxman said there were long-standing mental health and alcohol problems.

“He accepts that his behaviour following the collision, especially towards the female officer was disgraceful,” said Miss Waxman.

“Since this incident he has made extensive efforts to address his problems.”