Police have criticised a driver who took three friends to go for a walk 10 miles away from their home before crashing the vehicle after an insect flew inside.
Emergency services attended the accident, which happened on the B4009 in Thatcham, Berkshire, on Sunday, at a time when the NHS is already under severe strain amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Thames Valley Police’s road policing unit posted on Twitter that the driver and his friends were driving 10 miles to walk a dog at the time of the crash.
They posted: “Driver of this car crashed on the B4009 #Thatcham due to a large bug flying in! They were driving TEN miles from home to walk their dog, 3 friends in. Discharged at scene.
“Police, fire & ambulance attended. Clearly an avoidable journey.”
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Driver of this 🚙 crashed on the B4009 #Thatcham due to a large bug flying in! They were driving TEN miles from home to walk their 🐶, 3 friends in 🚗. Discharged at at scene. 🚔, 🚑 & 🚒 attended. Clearly an avoidable journey! @TVP_WestBerks #STAYATHOME! 👮🏼♂️ #P5562 #P2071 #P3386 pic.twitter.com/gDwjxkmnTh— TVP Roads Policing (@tvprp) April 5, 2020
Local residents have also slammed the driver on social media.
Nick Townsend posted: “Just down the road from me. I heard there was an accident. I hope their insurance doesn’t pay out. Idiots. What is it these people don’t understand?”
Joanna Green posted: “I wish you were given the power to take their licences away. It’s all emergency services workers that are unnecessarily being exposed and their households. Selfishness has gotten the better of society.”
When Boris Johnson announced the lockdown two weeks ago, he said people could exercise outside only once a day.
Under the new measures, police have been given instructions to disperse meetings of more than two people, unless they live in the same household.
It is not clear whether the people in the car were living together.
There has been ambiguity about whether people should be able to go to beauty spots as, some argue, it is less crowded than more populated areas and therefore there is less chance of contracting or passing on the virus.
However, there is the argument that travelling to beauty spots could put people in danger of injuring themselves, placing additional strain on the NHS and their ability to respond to incidents may be curtailed by circumstances created by COVID-19.
The government updated the guidelines on its website last week to say people should “stay local” for their daily hour of exercise.
“We advise you to stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.
“You can still go to the park for outdoor exercise once a day but only by yourself or within your household, not in groups.”