A DRIVER cheated death when his lorry slammed into the back of a heavy goods vehicle on the M62 early today.
The 53-year-old Bolton man was trapped in the wreckage after his cab became entangled and crushed against the HGV's trailer.
The crash happened on the westbound carriageway, about a mile after junction 23 at Outlane, shortly after 4.30am.
Firefighters believe the HGV may have dragged the smaller lorry for 50 yards as its driver struggled to pull on to the hard shoulder after realising something had hit him.
Crew manager Jimmy Johnstone, of Huddersfield Fire Station, said fire crews worked closely alongside paramedics to free the man, who had suffered chest and leg injuries along with a broken wrist.
He added: "We needed specialist heavy rescue equipment which included special platforms.
"These meant we could get up to the height of the wrecked cab and work to free the driver.
"He appeared to be mainly trapped by the steering wheel, but the steering column had snapped, which meant we could quickly cut it free.
"Hydraulic spreaders were then needed to force the crushed door open.
"The impact was so severe the lorry's engine had been exposed.
"He was very lucky."
Paramedics stabilised the driver's condition and he remained conscious throughout the rescue.
He was lifted clear at about 5.20am and taken to the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
His injuries were said to be "not life-threatening".
Two lanes of the motorway were closed during the rescue and that was reduced to one lane when the lorries were being shifted and the carriageway cleared up.
Fire crews turned out from Huddersfield, Elland, Halifax and Cleckheaton.