A taxi driver has told of the moment he feared for his life after being caught up in a five-car horror smash.
The 51-year-old said he was forced to escape his smoke-filled car by climbing over the front seats and out of a back door.
I could smell petrol and I thought the car was going to blow up. I’m so lucky
He said: “I could smell petrol and I thought the car was going to blow up. I’m so lucky.”
The Whiteside’s driver was on Hawes Side Lane towards Common Edge Road, in Marton, when he collided with a black Vauxhall Zafira travelling the other way at around 10.30pm on Sunday, Lancashire Police said.
The Zafira hit three parked cars before careering into a garden wall, leaving a 21-year-old female passenger lying in the middle of the road, a police spokesman added.
And the taxi driver, who caught the incident on his Ford Mondeo’s dashboard-mounted camera, said it was only because he was on a bend at the point of collision that he wasn’t more severely injured.
He said: “The car hit me sideways, knocking me about two metres across the road and taking off the door skins.
“I was a tenth of a second away from death. All I could smell was petrol and smoke and none of the front doors would open.
“I couldn’t get out so I had to climb out of the back. I sat against a metal lamp-post and held my head against it because I knew I could have broken it.
“I was in shock. I’m still in shock.”
The driver, along with the Zafira’s passenger, who suffered a knee injury, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital as police closed Hawes Side Lane for more than four hours.
Nurse Allan Kent’s Ford EcoSport, a blue Citroen Saxo, and a silver Ford Focus Zetec were also damaged in the smash.
Mr Kent’s shocked partner, 62-year-old Eric Fisher said he initially mistook the sound of the crash for fireworks but rushed outside to help.
He said: “The taxi driver was disorientated and was saying he could not move his neck. I sat him down and waited for everybody to come.
“There was debris all over the road.”
Public services student Ross Dickinson, 16, said: “The taxi driver had cuts on his face and was complaining of head injuries.
“The girl crawled out but could not move her knee, so she was led in the middle of the road.”
Rebecca Bibby, 44, said: “I saw a taxi had smashed into a neighbour’s car, which was half on the pavement and half on the road.
“The taxi driver got out and had blood all over him.”
A small black dog called Buster, which was in the Zafira at the time of the crash, bolted after the collision.
He was found wandering the street with its frayed lead still attached, at around 8.15am yesterday.
nA 35-year-old man, from Blackpool, was yesterday charged with drink driving, driving without insurance, dangerous driving, and the theft of a vehicle.
He was bailed and is due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, November 17.