‘Lucky escape’ for bus driver hit by 10kg tub dropped over bridge on M80

A BUS driver travelling on one of Scotland’s busiest motorways was nearly killed when a 10kg tub of adhesive was thrown from an overhead bridge.

The pot smashed through the windscreen and hit the 60-year-old at the wheel of the single decker on the M80 on Saturday evening.

The driver lost all power of the bus after it smashed the steering column, but he was able to slow down and bring the vehicle to a stop at the side of the motorway. He escaped with just minor injuries. The tub is thought to have been stolen from a nearby building site.

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Chief Inspector Glen Bland, from Strathclyde Police, said: “It is no understatement to say that it is only sheer luck which stopped this incident being much worse and the driver counts himself lucky that he was not severely injured or killed as a result of this completely senseless act on one of Scotland’s busiest roads. It’s to the driver’s credit that he managed to avoid other vehicles and stopped the bus at the edge of motorway.”

The incident happened at junction six northbound, the Old Inns junctions in Cumbernauld at around 9:50pm. The driver suffered minor injuries but was badly shaken.

Officers are viewing CCTV footage as they hunt for the culprit. They say it is possible that the large tub may have been stolen from a nearby building site close in Dowanfield Road, Cumbernauld.

“It is vital we trace those responsible for carrying out such a dangerous act and I am appealing to drivers who were on the M80 last night and saw anyone on the overhead bridge near to junction six to contact me,” said Mr Bland. “Also, anybody who saw anyone hanging around the Dowanfield Road area of Cumbernauld or someone carrying a large white plastic tub last night should get in touch.”

Last year, there were several incidents involving objects being thrown from bridges on to motorways in Scotland. A van’s windscreen was smashed when an object was thrown from a bridge in West Lothian onto the M8, in December 2011.

Two vehicles had previously been damaged when they were hit by objects thrown from another bridge over the M8.

A van’s windscreen was smashed and a car roof was damaged as they passed under the B792 Blackburn to Bathgate bridge in West Lothian. Luckily no-one was injured in any of the incidents.

In September last year, a lorry suffered a cracked windscreen after youths threw a rock from a motorway bridge. The incident took place on the M9 as the vehicle passed under a bridge leading to the St Ninians area of Stirling.

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The spate of motorway missiles last year followed an incident in England which saw a woman driver seriously injured after a concrete block was thrown on two cars on the A12 in Essex.

And months before that, a shopping trolley was thrown on to high-speed traffic from a motorway bridge over the M54 in Shropshire, hitting one lorry and forcing another to swerve.

Two nine-year-old girls are thought to be among the youngest offenders after they were captured on CCTV throwing a brick through the window of a car from a motorway footbridge over the M25. The pair were too young to be prosecuted.

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