Surgical needles spilled from a package on a motorcycle, causing flat tires on 90 cars over a 60-mile stretch of one of Britain's busiest freeways, police said Friday.

A patrolman chased the culprit Thursday on the busy section of the M-1 freeway near Walsall, 120 miles northwest of London, but was forced to stop when his car got a flat, too.The 1 3/4-inch stainless steel needles fell out of a parcel on the back of a bike, and 90 cars reported flats, some of them with all four tires out of action, West Midlands Police said.

"I would like to get my hands on the guy who shed the load. He's not only done the two rear tires, but the spare I put on as well," motorist Douglas Hawkins said.

"It is amazing there was not a bad smash. I had difficulty controlling my car at 50 miles per hour, so I hate to think how drivers coped who were doing 70," said Peter Cooper.

Vehicle rescue services were inundated with calls for assistance.