A TAXI driver can thank his instincts - and a stroke of luck - after he walked away from a horror North Ayrshire crash without a scratch.

The cab driver’s vehicle broke down on the A71 near Irvine on the afternoon of Friday, May 6 - and with no hard shoulder to pull into, he had to leave his car on the inside lane of the dual carriageway and wait to be recovered.

With his hazard lights on, the driver - from Stevenston-based TOA Taxis (North Ayrshire) Ltd - was advised that it was safest to remove himself from the vehicle and walk further down the road before making a recovery call from some nearby trees.

And it was that decision which ultimately saved his life: just seconds after he walked away from the taxi, a van ploughed into the rear of the vehicle at high speed, sending it hurtling down the road towards him.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The extent of the damage to the rear of the vehicle following the crashThe extent of the damage to the rear of the vehicle following the crash

As the wreck of the car spun towards him, it collided with the tree where the driver was standing to call for assistance.

His son Jamie McDowall took to Facebook to share his father’s story. 

He said: “I’m so lucky to still have my dad here today, somebody was watching out for him.

“His taxi broke down and was told not to sit in the car. Look what happens when he gets out.

“Please, if you break down get out and don’t wait in the car, plus get as far away as possible because my dad was far and the car hit the tree he was standing at. 

“As the car came hurling towards him he managed to jump behind it, so he wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the tree.”

Along with the post was chilling dashcam footage of the moments before and during the crash.

The police are aware of the incident, which took place on the A71 between the Warrix Interchange and the Corsehill Mount roundabout. 

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police attended a report of a two vehicle crash on the A71 in Dreghorn on Friday May 6. One man was subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in connection with road traffic offences.”

The other driver, who was in a larger vehicle which suffered slightly less damage, is unknown.