The dramatic rescue of a Huddersfield bus driver who was impaled in a horror Boxing Day accident has been revealed for the first time.
Lukasz Mokos was impaled in his seat with a metal railing ripping through his leg.
Now his amazing story will feature in the new series of BBC’s Helicopter Heroes, with the crew of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance..
And he revealed he faces many more months of treatment for his injuries, as he recovers at his Rawthorpe home.
Lukasz had just pulled out from a bus stop on Manchester Road, Bradford, when “for some reason” the bus veered to the right smashing into the central reservation barrier.
The metal handrail from the barrier pierced the front of the bus, went up and through Lukasz’s leg and then the back of his seat, pinning him in the driver’s cab.
“I did not feel that much pain on impact but the rail had gone through my right leg so I could not brake; I could not stop the bus,” said Lukasz.
“My main thought at the time was my passengers. My job is to get them safely from A to B and I was just so concerned for them, to make sure they were OK.”
With Lukasz unable to brake the bus ploughed into several cars before coming to a halt. Shocked passengers were led out through a rear emergency door. A dozen people suffered minor injuries with two taken to hospital.
The railing had narrowly missed a main artery but Lukasz had lost a lot of blood and was in deep shock. With a real risk of infection and amputation, it was vital to get the 28-year-old to hospital as quickly as possible.
Fire, ambulance and air ambulance paramedics worked for around 90 minutes to release the young driver who remembers little about the dramatic and delicate rescue operation.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance paramedic Leon Baranowski said: “It was a very challenging incident and a massive team effort, which thankfully worked out well in the end.”
Lukasz was flown by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, with the rail still impaled in his right leg, to Leeds General Infirmary where a specialist team of vascular and orthopaedic surgeons were ready.
“Everyone did an amazing job. The firemen and paramedics at the scene and getting me to hospital so quickly probably saved my leg, and possibly my life. I can’t thank them enough.”
Lukasz, from Brownroyd Avenue, Huddersfield, spent three weeks in hospital and underwent four major operations including skin grafts. His right leg is encased in a wire frame with 20 pins holding it straight.
The fitness of the semi-professional Thai boxer has been a major factor in his recovery so far but Lukasz knows it will be a long and painful recovery process.
“I will probably need to have the frame on for nine months and then there is rehab and physiotherapy to build up the wasted muscle. So it could be a couple of years.
“But I know I have been very lucky and I have had such fantastic support from my friends, fellow bus drivers and especially my girlfriend Anna. That has been so important to me.”
The couple had saved for a dream holiday to the Far East and were due to depart just two days after the accident. Because they booked independently, rather than through a travel agency, they lost all their money.
Lukasz’s story will feature in Wednesday’s episode (April 23) of Helicopter Heroes on BBC1 at 9.15am.
The series follows the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, an independent rapid response charity, which has carried more than 5,400 people in its 13-year history. It needs to raise £9,990 each day to keep its two helicopters in the air and maintained - equivalent to £3.6 million each year.
Without any direct government funding, the only help the charity receives is through the secondment of its paramedics from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
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