A man who survived a major car crash with his wife is wanting to thank those who came to their aid on the roadside.

Brian Kerrigan, 82, and his wife Patricia Kerrigan, 79, were travelling back from their holiday home in Aberystwyth along the A4113 near Knighton when they were hit by a van driven by David Painter, causing serious injuries to Patricia.

“It was very quiet, a very quiet Sunday morning,” said Mr Kerrigan.

“Then a vehicle just suddenly appeared on my side of the road, it was a matter of seconds and the collision occurred.”

Painter was jailed last month, having been convicted of drug driving and dangerous driving over the crash, which spun the Kerrigans' vehicle 180 degrees.

“I was fine, I wasn’t injured you see," Mr Kerrigan said.

"I just got out of the car and my wife said something about not being able to move.

Hereford Times: David PainterDavid Painter

“I thought right, I jumped round to go and help her out and then when I got round to the other side I thought, I can’t help her.

“I could see how she was then. I just had to wait, I’m a retired paramedic I retired in 09 after 44 years on the service.”

Mrs Kerrigan had very severe injuries with nine fractured ribs on her right side, one on her left and an abdominal bleed.

And Mr Kerrigan has now offered his thanks to members of the public who came to their aid, including a group of motorcyclists, of whome two were former police officers.

“The one dialled 999 straight away and when he got through, he gave a brief description of where we were and passed the phone on to me and then the woman in control said we would be the top priority,” said Mr Kerrigan.

“The other one climbed in the back of the car and held my wife’s head.”

The motorcyclist stayed in position for an hour and a half to prevent Mrs Kerrigan from suffering spinal injuries while they waited for paramedics to arrive, and according to Mr Kerrrigan, “by the time he finished holding my wife’s head his arms were aching.”

Later another member of the public came to help: “I believe she was an off-duty nurse and she gave us two blankets because she (Patricia) was feeling the cold.

Later the fire service arrived to remove the car door and give Patricia oxygen before paramedics arrived and transported her to Hereford County Hospital. She was in intensive care for a week before being moved to the wards a week later, and then going on to recover at home.

Painter's sentencing has helped put an end to the ordeal for the couple.

“It’s over and done with now as far as we are concerned, he’s plead guilty anyway, there’s no excuses for driving with drugs in your system is there," Mr Kerrigan added.

“We were very fortunate, I only brought a dashcam in the August, that was most fortunate and also the only building I could see had CCTV which filmed the crash because it just showed everything that happened.”

Since the crash Patricia has been wary of travelling again but is looking to get out and about soon and other than some intermittent pain in her ribs is largely back to full health.

Mr Kerrigan added: “I’m really grateful for the help, it was really good especially the motorcyclists because all I could say to the ambulance service was that I was on the road to Knighton and Ludlow.

“I just wanted to say thank you as I didn’t really know how to contact them and I thought through the paper might be the best way.”