The driver of a sport utility vehicle that was crushed beyond recognition by a 20-ton boulder says his life was changed by the event and calls the fact that he's alive today and expected to make a full recovery a "miracle."
Ludovic Masciave, 36, was driving through the Arly Gorge in the French Alps last Wednesday when a boulder overhanging the pass he was driving on suddenly fell directly on top of his car, the UK's Daily Mail reported.
"I remember the impact of the rock," Masciave, a father of two who was driving alone when the accident occurred, told the French newspaper Le Parisien.
"I'd been driving slowly at between 40 and 50 kilometres an hour when suddenly there was a terrible shock which brought the vehicle to a sudden halt," he said. "I immediately lost consciousness."
Rescuers who discovered Masciave's mangled car could not even determine what type of car it was due to the damage and expected to find no survivors.
Instead they found Masciave in the driver's seat, now awake but pinned against the dashboard of his car.
"My back was pressed against the door and my torso against the rock. I was completely compressed," he told the paper. "The space was very restricted. It could be measured in centimeters."
Rescuers took Masciave to a nearby hospital where he was treated for flattened lungs, broken ribs and damaged tendons and nerves. He remains in the hospital for surgeries but is expected to make a full recovery, according to the Daily Mail.
"It's a miracle I'm alive. Although I'm not a believer I do think this was a miracle…Now I will see life differently," he told Le Parisien.