A dad-of-two has revealed terrifying footage of how he was almost decapitated on the motorway when the red hot brake disc of an HGV snapped off and came hurtling through his windscreen.
Andy Foster, 33, claims the only reason the flying piece of metal did not hit him in the neck was because he ducked at the last minute so the debris hit his shoulder and head rest.
The curved blade of metal is believed to be the brake disc or brake drum of an HGV driving ahead of him on the M25 that had heated up and finally broke off.
Andy says the metal was so hot it burned through his windscreen as he drove at around 65mph, hitting his Nissan Qashqai with such force glass was found in the boot.
Andy, from Aylesbury, Bucks, said: “It was a curved piece of metal around the size of a dinner plate.
"Police told me it was a brake disc that had got hotter and hotter and eventually snapped off.
“If I hadn’t had ducked at the last second, it would have hit me in the neck like a blade. It was moving at such force and speed I don’t like to think what would have happened, though it could have killed me easily.
“It hit the windscreen so hard that it sounded like an explosion, it was a pretty scary experience.
“Thankfully, the main injuries I received were a cut to my hand where it came off the steering wheel and a knock to my shoulder as it went into my head rest – luckily I had ducked out of the way. It all happened very fast but it is scary to think what could have happened if I had not ducked.”
Before the impact, papers can be seen flying from the HGV and one gets stuck in Andy’s windscreen wipers.
Moments later, smoke comes off the right hand tyres of the lorry and the brake disc flies off.
As Andy pulls over on the hard shoulder, the footage shows the white HGV carrying on, who Andy thinks was possibly unaware of what has just occurred. A different lorry driver pulls over to check Andy is OK.
Andy was left with a cut to his hand, a badly-bruised shoulder and small cuts from the glass to his lips and eyebrow.
Andy, a former sales rep and now self-employed, said: “I felt very lucky to have escaped with only minor injuries.
"The mental effect was probably the worst thing. I was quite shook up for a month or so afterwards. It is scary as the piece came out of nowhere.
“But I still go on the motorway now and thankfully what happened to me is so rare that the chances of it happening in the first place were slim but to happen a second time are remote.
“However I am obviously a little more wary when driving on the roads now.”
Andy says police and his insurance company viewed his dashcam footage as well as CCTV from the incident but were unable to identify the HGV due to glare from the sunlight on the white van.
Following advice from his insurance company, Andy was able to claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau after the lorry was listed as an untraceable vehicle.
Andy said: “I sold the car two months later. I just wanted to draw a line under it and I suppose a bit of superstition made me want to get rid of the car.”