Paul Merson arrested after 70mph motorway crash image

Former England football player Paul Merson was arrested yesterday for suspected drink-driving after he cheated death in a 70 mph motorway smash.

The ex-Arsenal and England football player has admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of his £40,000 Mercedes Benz ML and was held by police after crashing into the central reservation and a lorry at 70mph on the M40 near Warwick shortly after 3am.

“I managed to get out by myself and the emergency services were brilliant. Now I just want to get home and have some rest.”

Merson is believed to have climbed from the wreckage with just a gashed head, at which point police took him to a nearby hospital in Warwick, where his injury was treated.

Blood samples were also taken for analysis and Merson could face prosecution if they prove positive.

A police spokeswoman said: ‘We received a report of an accident on the M40 northbound between J14 and 15 at 3.12am this morning involving a black Mercedes ML350 and a lorry.

‘Following a roadside breath test, the 43-year-old male driver of the Mercedes was arrested on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol.

A source told the Daily Mirror: ‘He had not been wearing a seatbelt and the car spun round at least once before it ploughed into the central reservation.

‘He was very fortunate to get out alive.’

His wrecked Mercedes ML350 was taken by a recovery truck to a vehicle compound in Leamington Spa, Warks.