A bus driver impaled by a section of metal railing during a freak road accident in Bradford has spoken about his rescue and the years he expects to face battling back to full health.
The drama happened on Boxing Day when the bus driven by Lucasz Mokos veered into a central reservation as he pulled away from a bus stop on Manchester Road.
A metal handrail from the barrier punched through the front of the bus and went straight through Mr Mokos’s leg and into the back of his seat, leaving him pinned where he sat in the cab.
Because the rail had gone through his leg, he could not brake and the bus hit several cars before stopping, with around a dozen passengers sustaining minor injuries and two needing hospital treatment.
It took the emergency services about 90 minutes to free the driver and he was flown to Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance with the rail still impaled in his leg.
There was concern for the 28-year-old’s welfare because, although the injury had missed a main artery, he had lost a lot of blood.
The semi-professional Thai boxer was released from hospital after three weeks but has revealed he still faces a long haul back to full health.
“I did not feel that much pain on impact but the rail had gone through my right leg,” said Mr Mokos, of Huddersfield.
“My main thought at the time was my passengers. My job is to get them safely from A to B and I was just so concerned for them, to make sure they were OK.
“Everyone did an amazing job. Getting me to hospital so quickly probably saved my leg, and possibly my life. I can’t thank them enough.”
During his stay in hospital he underwent four major operations and skin grafts and now still has a metal cage around his leg which is necessary to keep it straight.
“I will probably need to have the frame on for nine months and then there is rehab and physiotherapy to build up the wasted muscle. So it could be a couple of years.
“But I know I have been very lucky and I have had such fantastic support from my friends, fellow bus drivers and especially my girlfriend Anna. That has been so important to me,” he said.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance paramedic Leon Baranowski said: “It was a very challenging incident and a massive team effort, which thankfully worked out well in the end.”
Bradford College student Lewis Papworth, 16, who stepped in to help stem the flow of blood and guided the emergency services to the scene of the crash also later won praise from police for his actions. The rescue was due to be featured on the BBC’s Helicopter Heroes programme today.