A Huntly man got out of his wrecked truck red with blood after an unsecured horse float smashed into him and his daughter on their way home.
Dave Newton, 44, wants his brush with death to be a warning to people to use the right size setting on a tow bar.
He was travelling home with his 18-year-old daughter, Jade, from a painting job in Ngaruawahia on September 7 at 10.30pm. He thought it was a truck coming towards him with no headlights on. It was actually a 1700kg horse float that had detached from the vehicle that was pulling it.
Before Newton had time to think there was a massive bang and his Subaru went into a spin.
"It was just like a huge explosion. I think I was knocked unconscious.
"I looked like I'd been shot with a shotgun. I had cuts all over me from the window exploding."
Newton and his daughter dragged themselves out of her car door and stood there in a daze. A jack handle had been propelled so fast it soared through the back of his truck, pierced the seat and impaled itself 1cm deep into his back.
"It could have been worse. It could have gone straight through me.
"I was wearing a white spray suit. The whole thing was red with blood after the crash.
"I even had bruises on the bottom of my feet."
The duo were taken to hospital. Newton said the driver pulling the float didn't stop because he didn't realise it had come off.
Newton wanted to impress upon people that the crash was totally avoidable.
"Especially with Christmas coming up and with more people towing boats they just need to be aware of the size of their towbar and size of their trailer. Make sure they match."
Newton, who took three weeks to become mobile after the crash, said he felt lucky to be alive.
"The cop said if we had been in a small car we'd have been mince meat."
The driver was towing the new horse float for his sister. She had third-party insurance so Newton will get a new car, but the float is written off. Newton estimates it must have been worth up to $27,000.
A police spokeswoman said a 51-year-old man was charged with careless driving. He appeared in Huntly District Court on November 22 and will appear again in the same court on January 24.