A Northampton man who feared he was paralysed when a car crash in London Road triggered a spinal injury this week - has paid thank you to the emergency services who came to his rescue in the nick of time.
Two fire engines, the air ambulance, and three land ambulances were called to the road just before 8am on Tuesday, when Alex Salustro and another driver were involved in a collision.
The coming together blocked meant London Road had to be shut to allow air medics to land safely.
The 27-year-old former amy man, who had to leave the forces due to a spinal disc injury, feared the worst immediately after the crash.
Recovering at home in Upton this week, he said: “It wasn’t a massive crash, but it set off the previous back injury that I had to leave the army for.
“I just lost all feeling from the waist down, which was quite scary.”
But Mr Salustro said he has now regained feeling in his legs, which he said was in no small part due to he quick-thinking actions of the emergency crews.
After firefighters managed to get him out of his stricken van without cutting the roof, The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulamnce crew then flew him to University Hospitals, Coventry.
He said: “They were so helpful. They got to the scene straight away and managed to get me into the helicopter.
“They were absolutely tremendous and I don’t think they get enough praise.”
After the crash Mr Salustro said he dialled 999 himself.
“Straight away the panic set in,” he said. “I was more worried about not making it to work on time at first.
“Then when I realised I couldn’t feel my legs I was frantically trying to get feeling back in them.
“I called the ambulance and they were there pretty much straight away.”
Mr Salustro, who does several charity events for the Royal British Legion, says he intends to raise money for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance in the future to say thanks.
After the incident on Tuesday, Mr Salustro, took to his Facebook page to thank the blue light services.
“I just want to say a massive thank you to the ambulance, fire, police and air ambulance crews that came to my rescue.
“So glad I’m not paralysed from the waist down, which was my fear.”