A SEVEN-year-old boy is continuing to recover weeks after being hit in the face by an out-of-control van in a crash his dad thought had taken his life.

David Emmett watched in horror as Ethan was hit by the van and dragged away by the impact as they walked hand in hand on the pavement.

Ethan ended up unconscious and underneath the vehicle, leaving Mr Emmett to assume he had been killed until a dentist from a nearby surgery crawled under the wrecked vehicle to examine the boy and confirmed he was alive.

A passing nurse was also able to examine his limbs and hips to confirm they had not been broken, but Ethan needed three days in hospital and is still returning for treatment for facial injuries which left his cheek fractured and the bone above his top lip split.

He was only out with Mr Emmett because St Winifred's School in Wibsey, which Ethan attends, was closed on the day because of a burst water pipe.

"It was a terrible experience, I thought he was dead when it happened," said Mr Emmett, an engineer of Farfield Road.

"The force of the impact left him unconscious and the vehicle hit a dentist's and also demolished a lamp post.

"If the impact had been different, the outcome could have been much worse," he said.

The van is understood to have hit some steps as the accident unfolded in Halifax Road, effectively launching the vehicle so the point of impact with Ethan was his face rather than his torso.

"When the dentist went under the van I was told Ethan was bleeding from the ear and you fear the worst in those circumstances," he said.

Ethan's treatment so far has been at the Leeds General Infirmary but he is now being transferred to Bradford for treatment which will include repairs to his damaged teeth.

Although he has some adult teeth and they were knocked out of place, he did not lose any and it is hoped the damage can be repaired.

Mr Emmett said his son have been "brave" with the way he coped with his recovery and had been visited at home by his school's head teacher.

"His form teacher has also visited, she brought him some homework," said Mr Emmett.

"She was due to retire at the end of the term and wanted to see him before she went."

West Yorkshire Police said they were still investigating the circumstances of last month's incident.