A DAD who miraculously survived being crushed by a three-tonne truck described how he thought he was going to die.

Damian Jones, 43, from Burnham, has been unable to work since the accident at Ghyllgrove Primary School, in Basildon, which left him with ten broken bones and long-lasting post traumatic stress disorder.

His former employer, S&K Groundwork Solutions Ltd faced prosecution from the Health and Safety Executive at Southend magistrates’ court yesterday for contravening health and safety regulations.

Damian was part of a team who were preparing the drainage at a new outbuilding at the school last February.

He said: “I’d drive the truck to the edge of the trench and tip the shingle in then I’d reverse, put the truck into neutral and lift the handbrake on.

“I was working with my foreman and we were both standing in the trench.

"I was spreading the shingle when suddenly I noticed the dumper truck was rolling towards us. I pushed him out of the way and then the front of the skip on the truck hit me square in the chest and crushed me.

"There was a big pile of concrete building blocks next to the trench and it pushed me up against them.

“I knew the weight of the truck would kill me. There was blood coming out of my mouth and I am told that I went bright blue.

"My 18-year-old son saw the whole thing – he basically saw me die. He was working with me. He’s still traumatised.”

The court heard the truck had a faulty handbrake and this was not identified in the regular checks.

Damian was airlifted to hospital and his family were told he was critical and may not make it through the night.

He added: “I was dying. I was in intensive care for six days. My lung had collapsed and I couldn’t breathe. I had serious damage to my chest and six broken ribs. I fractured my nose and still have a problem with my vision.”

While pain, constant flashbacks and only having limited use of his left arm, is tough enough to deal with, Damian says being unable to work is “horrendous”.

S & K Groundworks admitted the offence and was ordered to pay £28,395.65 in fines and costs.

Tracey Benson, a lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers who is representing Damian in a civil case said: “It’s been over a year since my client was involved in this horrific accident while at work and he’s been unable to work since.

“He could easily have been killed had it not been for the quick-thinking actions of a colleague.”