TAMWORTH country music artist Ryan James was stopped inches from death, when his B-Double truck snagged on a tree while sliding upside down towards a 60-metre drop.
An experienced truck driver, Mr James says he was doing everything right when the accident happened, which is why some of the behaviour he sees on the roads leaves him appalled and angry.
“It just goes to show that driving is dangerous enough, you don’t need to add any more risk by driving like an idiot,” he said.
“It was a normal day at work in the truck. I was coming down the mountain out of Bylong, which I do five or six times a day.
“I went to change gears and for whatever reason it didn’t mesh into gear. The truck took off and the breaks locked up.
“The truck flipped and the trailer stayed upright. I was sliding towards the edge of the cliff and if the trailer didn’t get caught on a tree on the side of the road I would have went over.
“This all happened when I was going 30km with the exhaust breaks on, I was doing everything right.”
Both Mr James' legs were pinned, but he managed to crawl out and call for help.
“I was taken to hospital, but I was lucky and very fortunate to walk away from that accident – the police and firies said they had no idea how I walked away from that alive,” he said.
The experience has made Mr James, an already self-confessed careful driver, even more cautious on the roads and a passionate road safety advocate.
“It’s so easy for something like this to happen when you are doing the right things and driving at a slow speed, so it just amazes me more people aren’t hurt doing the silly things you see,” he said.
“It’s just not worth taking unnecessary risks to be five minutes in front. No one wants to put their family through the hurt of burying you cause you made a poor choice.
“If I can pass anything on, it’s take the time to drive sensible and get there, rather then to risk everything to be there on time or early.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in a car, truck or quad bike – be sensible, be safe.”