A Christmas Good Samaritan was today nursing his wounds and counting his blessings after a near-death experience .

James Ellis, 38, was struck by a hit-and-run 4x4 vehicle while helping a family to get home on Boxing Day night.

It all happened in a spilt second at around 10.20pm as he and two friends were walking down Greenhill Bank Road, New Mill, after helping a 94-year-old woman, her daughter and son-in-law to walk home after they had abandoned their car in New Mill town centre.

One of his companions, Victoria Stratford, screamed and James looked over his shoulder to see blazing headlights heading straight towards them.

He pushed Victoria, 31, out of the way and the car hit him on his right side and threw him to the floor.

The car did not stop, but continued down the hill where it crashed into a signpost - but the driver still did not stop. The vehicle is described as a dark silver 2012 Toyota Hilux Invincible; the last two letters on the numbers plate were XF.

James, a salesman, said: “It all happened so quickly. We got the family home and were walking back when I looked round and saw the lights heading towards us.

“I pushed Victoria out of the way, the car hit me and we both ended up on the floor. It hit me on the right hand side and I’ve got a badly bruised shoulder, hip and calf.

“Lucy Farrell and Victoria thought I was a goner. I brushed myself down and they hugged me and we carried on, but we were all badly shaken.

“The driver definitely saw us, I don’t know if they lost control or what happened, but further down the road, the car hit a post.”

He arrived back at his Moorbrook Mill Drive home where Lucy phoned the police.

The following morning, James’s wife Emma drove him to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for a check up, where they confirmed he had severe bruising but nothing worse.

Some of the bruising suffered by Mr Ellis during the hit and run.
 

James said: “I feel very, very lucky, the driver could have killed us all.

“Now I feel angry. The driver didn’t stop, they didn’t know if I was dead or not and I want to see them in court.

“It was a narrow escape.”

Ironically, James and his wife had been at home for the evening, entertaining family and then friends. From their window they saw cars skidding and struggling to drive along the steep Greenhill Bank Road.

Then they saw the old lady go by with two other people. One of them, the daughter, fell on the snow, so James, Victoria and Lucy donned snow gear and helped the family to walk to their home in Scholes Moor Road.

The group had been out to a family party in Denby Dale, but were forced to abandon their car in New Mill and continue on foot when they were not dressed for the snow.

It was while James and his friends they were walking back home that the incident happened.