Five people from East Durham who claimed to be visiting their nana have been handed coronavirus fines after their car ended up in a field off the A66.
The occupants of the black BMW 1 series were found by North Yorkshire Police’s road policing unit in a field off the A66 after officers were alerted to the stranded vehicle in the early hours of March 2.
Officers established the car had travelled into the county from County Durham and claimed they had been travelling to see their grandmother – who lives in Peterlee just the next town from their home village of South Hetton.
The journey of five miles between South Hetton and Peterlee had extended to 40 miles and encompassed the Richmond area.
Officers said the driver claimed they swerved “something” and ended up in the field.
The vehicle was pulled out of the muddy field by a recovery truck and the group was fined for breaking Covid-19 rules.
A spokesman for the force said: “Fortunately for this BMW driver he drove off the A66 near Richmond into a muddy field rather than get more lost than he already was.
“We were called to this at 3am this morning by a concerned passer by having seen orange flashers in the field.
“The driver claimed he had swerved for ‘something’ ending up in the field, his efforts to drive it out just bogged it down further prior to our arrival.
“Bizarrely the five occupants from County Durham had been visiting nana…the journey of five miles between South Hetton and Peterlee had bizarrely extended to 40 miles, encompassing the Richmond area.
“Luckily, nana was safely at home and can await these five returning back complete with Covid fines issued.
“Our officers used two police vehicles to stop the traffic whilst the recovery driver extracted the car from the field.
“All people have to come to one location unnecessarily just because people didn’t stay home.”