A LORRY driver who fought back from a devastating accident in which he lost an arm has had his tenacity recognised.

Steve Jones, who works for JODA Freight at Cross Hills, near Keighley, was shortlisted for the Road Haulage Association’s (RHA) Exemplary Employee Award.

Mr Jones, who began working as a driver in 1979 and was nominated for the RHA accolade by his employer, suffered terrible injuries in a road accident in France in 2003.

His own truck was overtaken by a lorry which swerved, collided with his vehicle and then failed to stop.

Mr Jones’ right leg was shattered and his right arm was torn.

His arm could not be saved and had to be amputated a few months after the accident.

He spent nine years in rehabilitation and in place of his arm opted for a prosthesis ending with a hook, leading to his nickname ‘Captain Hook’.

He began working for JODA Freight in March 2013.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “This was Steve’s first position since his surgery. He performs all the functions of a class one driver, complying with all checks and procedures.

“He uses a fully-automatic driving system with steering aid and is always thinking of new ways of doing things and small adaptations that can make his life easier.

“Steve carries out his duties without fuss, he never gets lost and hasn’t had any accident or a day off since joining the company.

“Where he impresses most is when he performs all his driver’s duties as an able-bodied employee, excelling and outshining us all.

“Steve was the obvious choice to pioneer our mentoring scheme. He acts as a mentor for many of our new drivers and is always at the end of the phone for advice.

“He’s shown tremendous resilience, when many would have given up.

“Steve is highly respected for his professional skills, kindness and determination and is unanimously hailed as an inspiration.

“Managing the largest articulated lorries on the roads with such an impairment is an amazing achievement.”

Mr Jones, who lives in Skipton, said: “In the 2003 accident, I lost myself.

“But my life changed one night in hospital when I was sharing a room with four other guys.”

He said he was deeply affected by the overnight death of a young man who had terminal cancer, and vowed to himself to fight on and help others.

“I struggle every day, but I love my job,” he said. “It’s the best job in the world.”

More than 450 hauliers attended this year’s RHA annual lunch awards in London, with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling among the guests.

Although Mr Jones did not win the award, he was one of only four people nominated for it from across the UK.

Outside of work, Mr Jones has rekindled his childhood passion for fishing and he set up a club to encourage disabled people to take up the sport.

He publishes articles in Disabled Angling Magazine, enjoys music and DJs at parties.