A man was hailed a hero after pushing his friend out of the path of a hit-and-run 4x4 – averting a Boxing Day tragedy in the snow.
Semi-pro darts player James Ellis, 37, flung Victoria Stratford, 31, across the road and took the full force of the vehicle himself.
James was struck on the shoulder and knocked off his feet before the truck ran over his legs and sped off.
Amazingly, James got up, brushed himself down and walked Victoria and a friend of hers the half-a-mile or so home in near blizzard conditions before ringing the police.
It was only the following day that he went to hospital to be checked over. Remarkably he escaped serious injury and was released after treatment.
Victoria, of New Mill, said: “James was a hero – but I thought he was dead.”
The drama happened in Greenhill Bank Road, Scholes.
James, Victoria and the friend were walking back to their homes in New Mill at about 10.20pm after doing a good turn.
They had just walked two elderly women and a man up the hill towards home, after they saw them struggling in the snow.
Coming back down they were walking in the road due to the conditions when a 4x4 suddenly appeared round the corner.
“It came from behind and we never saw it,” said Victoria. “We heard a sound that I can only describe as like someone skiing and slowing down. Then we saw the headlights.
“James was in the middle of us and he somehow picked me up with his left arm and threw me out of the way. He was hit on the right shoulder and the car ran over his legs. We literally didn’t see what hit us.”
The vehicle failed to stop and then smashed into a road sign nearby – and again drove off.
Police have recovered debris and part of a broken number plate.
Victoria said police had identified the vehicle as a dark silver 2012 Toyota Hilux Invincible. The last two letters on the number plate are XF.
The vehicle is thought to have damage at the front and down the left side.
Victoria, who suffered bruising to her left leg and right arm, said: “I can’t believe how lucky we’ve been.
James tried to stay strong for me and that’s why he didn’t want to wait at the scene and dial 999.
“He wanted to get us home safe. The shock of it all only hit us 48 hours later.
“I don’t know how anyone could just drive off not knowing whether the person they had hit was alive or dead.”
James suffered extensive bruising to his shoulder, chest and legs.
Anyone with information should ring police on 101.