A man who suffered serious injuries after being crushed against a wall trying to stop a runaway van has been described as “lucky to be alive”.
Locals of Culross, Fife, raised the alarm and say it’s “a miracle” the man wasn’t killed when he tried to stop his vehicle after the handbrake slipped on Thursday.
A major emergency operation was triggered involving police, paramedics, two fire crews and an air ambulance.
A resident who was first to find the man asked not to be named, but said he heard a “long, scraping bang” outside his home in Wee Causeway shortly after 9am on Thursday, quickly followed by the man’s cries for help.
Cries for help
He said: “I heard the long, scraping bang and initially thought someone had clipped the bins outside my front door.
“But moments later I heard the man shouting and in agony.
“I went out and at first could only see the grey van that had crashed into a house and destroyed the porch.
“Then I discovered the man close to the ground with his back to me pinned tight against the steps by the vehicle.
“He was clearly in a lot of pain but was conscious telling me the handbrake had snapped and he had been attempting to stop the van from rolling away.
“I quickly phoned the emergency services but there was little else I could do and he was totally trapped.
“Thankfully a neighbour who said she was an off-duty nurse arrived and set about trying to help the man.
Lucky to be alive
“You don’t expect that sort of thing to happen right outside your door.
“The man is so lucky to be alive, it could quite easily have been a tragedy.”
He said fire crews and police arrived first, followed by paramedics and an air ambulance.
He added firefighters worked for over an hour before they were eventually able to release the injured man.
“Attempts to pull the vehicle away failed and they eventually freed the man after using the hydraulic pads to lift the vehicle,” he said.
The man is said to be in stable condition in hospital, having suffered a number of broken bones.
Another witness said they had seen the injured man moments before the crash.
The road remained closed for most of the Thursday as recovery of the vehicle and a structural inspection of the damaged property, which is an A-listed building, took place.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Police were called around 9.30am on Thursday July, 1 following the report of a one vehicle road crash on Wee Causeway in Culross.
“Emergency services attended and a man has been taken to the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy for treatment of injuries.”