Mum's relief at son's 'miracle' escape from A46 crash in Leicestershire
The mother of a teenager who was thrown more than 100 feet through the air after a lorry smashed into his car says it is a "miracle" he is alive.
Sam Clarke broke down on the A46 near Cossington, but managed to pull over and get out.
A 42-tonne lorry then clipped the back of his Range Rover, part of which was still sticking out in the road, which smashed into 19-year-old Sam, throwing him into the air.
His mum, Caroline Chettle, said it was a miracle Sam escaped with just a bad cut to his head, a sore knee and bruising.
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"Everyone we spoke to who was involved in helping him said it was a miracle he was alive," said the 49-year-old.
"We are in shock at the moment. The thought of what could have been – it's devastating. It sounds dramatic, but I want people who helped him to know we are thankful and know how lucky he was.
"He was so close to death, yet he is with us. Somehow, 18 hours after a 42-tonne lorry crashed into him and his car, he was walking out of the hospital on crutches. It is a miracle."
The accident happened at about 8.10pm on Thursday on the stretch between the A6 and A607 junctions.
Sam, from Hinckley, was driving to his girlfriend's house when his vehicle broke down.
He got out to look under the bonnet and had walked round to the passenger side of the car when the crash happened.
Caroline said: "If he was under the bonnet at the time he would have been killed instantly."
"He remembers bits and pieces. He thinks he was unconscious for five or 10 minutes. People had seen that someone had been with the car before the crash so they were searching for him. He started shouting when he woke up and they found him.
"They were searching for other bodies because he could not make any sense – he could not tell them if anyone else had been in the car with him.
"If his girlfriend and her three-year-old girl had been in the car they could have been killed.
"The whole thing was a wreck – a total write off – the back of the car was in the front seat. I think the fact that it was a Range Rover he was driving saved his life. It weighs three ton. If it had been a little car he would not have had a chance because it would have crumpled over him. But instead it took a lot of the crash."
Sam was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary where he received stitches to a gash on his head.
The teenager, who works for British Waterways, has two black eyes, a sore knee and bruising all over his body – but no broken bones.
He was allowed home on Friday afternoon.
"We want to say thank-you to everyone who helped him," said Caroline, who owns a tanning salon. The people who stopped and calmed him down and tried to stop the bleeding, the ambulance, the police – everyone. The staff at the hospital did an amazing job, too."
"We don't blame the lorry driver at all. He was devastated himself. He had not seen the car in time and, when he did, he did his best to stop. It was an accident."
Tim Coats, professor of emergency medicine at Leicester Royal Infirmary, who helped treat Sam, said: "I am pleased that Sam was very lucky and only came away with minor injuries."