Last week Ivan Sanford was involved in a car crash that probably should have killed him. This week he is praising the professionalism of the emergency services who came to his aid.
Mr Sanford, 56, of Dickleburgh, was driving southbound on the A140, just south of Long Stratton when a car coming in the opposite direction veered on to his side of the carriageway and clipped the rear half of his car.
The glancing collision was enough to send Mr Sanford’s car out of control and straight into the path of an oncoming 4x4 vehicle.
The collision between Mr Sanford’s Volkswagen and the 4x4 was estimated to have a cumulative speed of 100mph.
The force of the collision made Mr Sanford pass out. When he came round after concerned drivers tried to wake him, he found he could not breathe. He said at this point he thought he was going to die.
But he passed out again.
Miraculously, Mr Sanford, a father-of-two, suffered no serious injuries, not even a broken bone. The accident happened at 7pm, on March 4, and he was taken to hospital, but was discharged by 3.30am the next day.
Mr Sanford, a printer who works in Norwich and has made thousands of trips up and down the A140 in his lifetime, said: “Most of the professionals said I shouldn’t be here. To walk out of it with only aches and pains, I consider myself very lucky.”
From the moment Mr Sanford came round from the crash, he said first fellow drivers came to help and then the first person on the scene, a paramedic, “took control of the situation” after arriving in what Mr Sanford described as minutes.
The paramedic was concerned because Mr Sanford was complaining of back and neck pain, so when the three fire crews arrived, from Diss, Harleston and Long Stratton, the decision was made to cut the roof off and then carefully manoeuvre him out of the vehicle.
Those also involved in the crash were also being attended to, but it is understood that they were also not seriously hurt.
Mr Sanford was also complimentary of the police officer who called his wife Mary to reassure her.
Ultimately, Mr Sanford, who is also a grandfather-of-two, said it was his Volkswagen car that saved his life, and the safety measures built in. The airbag, for example, went off in the collision.
The A140, he said, has got steadily more dangerous over the decades that he has driven it, and said that it is a reminder of how hazardous even the most routine of journeys can be.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust said: “It’s great that Ivan has taken the time to thank our ambulance crews and we hope that he’s recovering well. This is typical of the lengths our staff will go to give patients the best care they can.”