A POLICE special constable who lost his leg when he was hit by car is supporting a European campaign to save lives on the roads.

Good Samaritan and off-duty special constable Ben Perry is backing Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death), which aims to bring casualty reduction and road safety to the forefront of people's minds.

Mr Perry pulled over on the M42 to help another driver following an accident when he was struck by a car.

He said: "Why did that car lose control?

"The major factor was because they had defective tyres - they were under inflated and the tread was below the legal limit which is 1.6mm.

"The weather conditions on the night of the crash were very poor, the visibility was significantly reduced and the road was extremely wet as a result of prolonged heavy rain.

"This meant that the car aquaplaned - where the tyres lose contact, or traction, with the road surface and effectively ‘glide’ across the water meaning the driver has no control over the vehicle whatsoever."

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Mr Perry, a qualified lighting engineer, special constable and police community support officer, said: "I was returning to my car on the hard shoulder of the M42. A common misconception is that the hard shoulder is a place of safety, something which I and many others know is not the case.

"After being hit, I knew within around 20 seconds that I’d lost my leg. There was nothing I could do but drag myself to a place of safety, even though I was bleeding heavily and had broken my remaining ankle and fractured my spine and shoulder, not to mention the obvious trauma and head injuries which came with it the impact.

"I was hit at around 76mph.

"I started to drift in and out of consciousness and was becoming less responsive. It was very dark, wet and eerie, but strangely peaceful at the same time. I genuinely didn’t think that I was going to make it and it was at this point I had mentally prepared myself to die.

"Thankfully, help arrived just in time, just minutes before I bled to death."

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He added: "That night, I almost became a road death statistic, with one of the main factors being defective tyres.

"Please make it a habit to check your tyres regularly, both the tread and the pressure. A few minutes checking your car can quite literally be the difference between life and death."