Traffic came to a standstill after a sheepdog “took control of a tractor” to drive it through a farm’s fence and onto a busy highway.
The dog, named Don, rested his paws on the tractor’s controls before driving it onto the M74 motorway near Abington in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, during rush hour this morning.
The police said that the four-year-old collie had jumped onto a mini tractor’s driver’s seat as farmer and Don’s owner Tom Hamilton, 77, was tending to a lamb in a field along the road.
Moments later, the tractor shot out of the field and crashed down a bank by the side of the highway before colliding with the central reservation.
Police rushed to the scene and found drivers had managed to avoid the John Deere Gator, while Don the dog was unscathed. Traffic Scotland tweeted:
M74 (N) J13-RTC due to dog taking control of tractor… nope, not joking. Farmer and police at scene, vehicle in central res.
Mr Hamilton said:
It’s terrible, but so far people seem to find it amusing. But these things happen.
I was just checking on my sheep and parked the Gator on the hill. It’s quite a steep hill and I was sorting out one of the lambs and hadn’t put the brake on.
When I turned around to get back into it just took off down the hill and started racing heading towards the motorway.
I ran after it but I couldn’t catch up. I can’t really run very fast and I ended up falling over. I was just hoping Don was going to be all right and that it wouldn’t hit any of the cars on the road.
Mr. Hamilton added:
It was very busy at the time so and I was rather worried because it could have struck one of the cars. I think Don must have been a bit confused by what was happening as it’s never happened before.
He normally just sits on in the back or on the floor next to me quite happy.
Mr. Hamilton explained that the police had yet to contact him regarding the incident.
Mr. Hamilton added that he had not yet apologized to anyone for his dog’s actions. He said:
I’ve not had to apologize to anyone yet, but maybe it’ll come. I’m just glad it didn’t cause an accident.
I’ve not heard anything from the police so it must be all right.
Traffic Scotland later provided an update:
M74 (N) at J13 — Route is clear from earlier incident and dog is fine. Has to be the weirdest thing we have ever reported! No delays in area.
Officers cleared the highway within half an hour and Don was reunited with his owner at nearby Kirkton Farm. A Traffic Scotland spokesman explained:
The dog accidentally leaned on the controls and the vehicle made its way out of the field and onto the M74.
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