Warning: Graphic content
A motorist was lucky not to be decapitated when a 10kg tow bar fell off another vehicle and smashed through his windscreen.
Jonathan Loates, 30, was left with a gaping wound in his skull when the piece of metal hit his BMW on the A619 near Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, on January 9.
The recruitment consultant managed to pull over to the side of the road before collapsing to the ground.
He was travelling along a 40mph stretch of road when the accident happened.
Another driver pulled over to help and put some clothing over the wound before ringing for an ambulance and staying with him until it arrived.
Mr Loates was rushed to hospital where he required more than 100 stitches following the shocking incident, which happened at around 5.15pm.
Police said he was "lucky to be alive" and his instinctive reaction to duck is what saved him from being decapitated.
Mr Loates, who is now recovering at home in Blyth, Nottinghamshire., said: "As I got to the brow of the hill I saw something in the road - I thought it was a bit of wood or some rubbish.
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"I went to go round it to the left and the next thing I know there was a massive bang. I can't really remember what happened after that.
"I don' know if it knocked me out or I blacked out but the next thing I remember was getting out with my head pouring with blood.
"I'm lucky it didn't hit me straight in the head because it would have taken my head off
"The scar is going to be visible for the rest of my life."
Officers believe the 10kg (22lb) tow bar may have fallen from a wheel base van like a Transit or a 4x4 or from the back of a scrap van.
They are appealing for witnesses, or anyone with dash-cam footage to come forward.
Mr Loates had been driving on the A619 Chesterfield Road, between Darfoulds nursery and before the island heading towards Worksop (A60).
PC Anthony Brice, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "He's lucky to be alive. He moved his head a few inches to the side and that saved his life - simple as that."
He urged anyone with tow bars on vehicles to ensure they are attached securely to prevent similar incidents, as cold weather can cause metal to contract and become loose.