Published: 09:00, 28 August 2014 |
Updated: 14:44, 28 August 2014
An RAC mechanic crushed beneath the car he was fixing has spoken from his hospital bed about his near-death experience in Canterbury.
Jason Hutchings, 38, suffered multiple broken bones and is still on oxygen at Ashford's William Harvey Hospital, where he was flown after the one-tonne Jaguar fell on him.
The Faversham father-of-two was only saved thanks to onlookers, who lifted the car off his motionless body and called for help.
He told how he had been working on the S-type at Canterbury Rugby Club when the car down on top of him.
Jason said: "It was just like any other job. I jacked the car up and used axle stands, but it came out of park and started moving.
"We assume the handbrake failed and it came off the jack.
"All I remember is thinking there is no way I'm going to get out of this. I thought 'that's it, it's over'."
Jason lost consciousness beneath the car, but quick-thinking rugby club members and the club physiotherapist jumped into action.
Together they managed to lift the heavy car off the mechanic and pulled him to safety.
Jason said: "Without the help of the guys at the rugby club I would be dead.
"It was a big car – it must have weighed a tonne and I just thought they would never, ever be able to lift it off me – it was impossible. But they did and I am eternally grateful to them."
He was airlifted to the William Harvey in a serious condition after the accident at about 6pm on Thursday.
He now faces a long road to recovery after fracturing vertebrae in his back, cracking some ribs and breaking his collarbone in three places.
But after working for the RAC for almost nine years, he says his terrifying experience will not put him off going back to work.
He said: "I don't believe it was a fault with the equipment. It was just one of those things. I'll go back to work, but I'll just be a bit more conscious about what I am doing."
Jason hopes to be discharged from hospital this weekend and back home in Eastling Road, Faversham, with his wife Karen and two girls, Caitlin, six, and four-year-old Morgan.
He added: "I just want to thank everyone for their help. I wouldn't be here without them all."
Rugby club chairman Giles Hilton said: "It's pretty fortunate that we were there and we'll have to remind any future RAC workmen to only come on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when they players are training.
"But jokes aside, we are very pleased with the actions the guys took, and presumably it was those actions that saved this man's life.
"I am incredibly proud of the club and the swift move that members took to make sure this man survived."
RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: "We are very grateful to members of the club and the public who helped and actually lifted the vehicle off the patrolman.
"Our thoughts are with him and his family and we are providing every support. A full investigation into the incident is under way."
Health and Safety Executive spokesman Helen Atha said: "HSE is aware of this incident and will be investigating."
Stories you might have missed
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.