A MAN has had a lucky escape from being crushed by a two-and-a-half tonne van by his heroic neighbour who lifted the vehicle to free him.

Paul Robertson, 52, was working underneath the Mercedes van outside garages in Ardersier when the jack broke, leaving him with the vehicle on top of him.

An eyewitness described how Paul was left "calling out for help" for some time before Jordan Coia came to the rescue after being asked to move his car.

The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: "He lifted the van off him."

Evening Times:

Photo credit: Press & Journal / SWNS.com

Mr Coia, 22, somehow managed to single-handedly lift the van just enough for his neighbour to be pulled out.

He said: "First of all I thought something had happened to my car and then someone came to the door and asked me to move my car.

"When I went round to get into the car I could see the guy's legs sticking out from under the van and I realised that he was underneath.

"After moving my car, I lifted the van and a fellow neighbour lifted his leg out.

"I went into autopilot. I have never come across anything like this in my life and I hope to never come across it again."

The incident, which took place about 1pm on Friday, resulted in a major response from emergency services.

Two fire engines, one ambulance, one paramedic car, two marked police vehicles and one unmarked police car attended the scene.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We received a call at 12.42 hours today to attend an incident at an address on Station Drive.

"We dispatched one ambulance and a trauma team to the scene. One male patient in his 50s was taken to Raigmore Hospital."

Onlookers said Mr Robertson was "still laughing and cracking jokes" despite the severity of the situation.

A police spokesman said: "Police were called to Station Drive in Ardersier at 12.46pm to a report of a man trapped under a van.

"He has been freed. It appears that he has suffered a minor leg injury. He seems to have had a lucky escape."