A MAN was lucky to be alive today after he was trapped in a mud-filled ditch on a lonely road.
The man in his 50s was discovered by teenagers who got help by flagging down a passing police car.
Firefighters called to the scene on Park Road in Elland on Wednesday night said the man could have died from hypothermia if he had not been found.
Sub-officer Rodger Binns, of Elland fire station, said: "The man was showing signs of hypothermia when he was rescued. If he had been stuck in the ditch all night it is doubtful he would have survived.
"He was up to his neck in water and mud."
He revealed that the man, who has not been named, had broken his arm a few weeks ago and it had been strapped up.
As he walked along Park Road he stumbled, tripped and rolled about 5ft down into the bottom of the ditch.
Sub-officer Binns added: "It is a dark, quiet road and not many people use it. The man was just lucky the teenagers were walking past and heard him call for help.
"We think he had been stuck in there for two hours before he was found at 8.30pm."
The teenagers were walking home to Rastrick. They were 14-year-old Rastrick High pupil Aaron Oliver and his friends Danny Sowden, Stuart Carter, Ashton Smith and Damian McCullen.
Aaron's mother, Mrs Maria Oliver, said: "They had been to a bonfire when they heard someone say "help". At first they thought it was one of their friends messing about.
"They looked into the ditch and saw the man covered in mud.
"Aaron was going to dial 999, but at that moment a police car came past and he flagged it down."
A passing paramedic on his way to work also stopped to help.
The man was taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital for treatment.