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A father trapped in his car for an hour while emergency services frantically tried to pull him from the wreckage of a horror crash near Laggan earlier this year, has sent a heartfelt letter to the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) crews that saved his life.
Matt Jones, 40, from Northampton, was driving on the A82, just south of South Laggan, with his eight-year-old son Jack in the back seat when his vehicle collided with another vehicle.
Mr Jones has now spoken for the first time about the accident, which he recalls little about, praising SAS for saving his life.
In a letter sent to the SAS crews in the north, he wrote: ‘I can’t really begin to describe the gratitude I feel, and will always feel, to you for what you did for myself and my son Jack on that day, there are times in life were words can’t really convey enough.
‘You did an amazing job and I am stunned, having seen photos of the car, that I wasn’t killed outright.’
And he continued: ‘I wish all of you the best of luck in all you do and every success in life. I am forever indebted to you for this second crack at life – it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received.’
Mr Jones had been taking Jack to see his parents (Jack’s grandparents) in Glenelg.
Speaking about the crash on May 27, Mr Jones says all he recalls is waking up in hospital the following day.
He explained: ‘We got to Fort William about 3pm and that is literally my last memory of the day. The first week in hospital was a blur – I was on very strong painkillers.
‘My memories of the day are very hazy. I went from never having broken bone in my body to breaking an awful lot.’
As a result, Mr Jones broke his right ankle, his left femur, his pelvis and seven ribs. He also burst his spleen, the metacarpal bones in his left hand and the right humerus in his shoulder was also badly shattered.
His young son in the back seat ‘got off lightly’, only suffering a cut to his cheek.
Since his recovery, Mr Jones has been told about what happened, but he didn’t fully realise how bad the accident was until he saw what was left of the car at a car yard.
The Scottish Ambulance Service had dispatched several crews to the scene, including paramedic team leader Andy Davidson and paramedics Gary Blackmore and Clare Macleod, who are all based at Fort William station.
Mr Jones said that over time he has been trying to piece together what happened.
‘It’s scary – there’s a period of time where I have no recollection of my life at all,’ he added.
Mr Jones admitted that on seeing the wreckage of his car, he was ‘horrified’.
He added: ‘It did not look like there was space for a human being. The front side of the driver’s side had gone. I think seeing the car was when I realised how bad the accident was.’
An outdoor instructor, Mr Jones has since spent the past three months recovering. Initially on crutches, he can now walk freely on his own.
Mr Davidson, paramedic team leader at Fort William Ambulance Station, was first on scene, manning a single crew vehicle.
He explained: ‘His car had frontal damage and the patient was trapped in the driver’s seat for about an hour. The whole front of the car had come forward to his legs. The compartment was crushed.’
Mr Davidson, 53, said once Mr Jones was extricated, he needed urgent medical help and was rushed to hospital.
He added: ‘His condition was deteriorating. I was speaking to him but he probably does not recollect it.’
Mr Davidson said the quick response probably made a difference to saving his life.
PTION: Matt and his partner, Lisa.
NO F44 Matthew and Lisa 01