Shocking and distressing footage has emerged of the moment a Horsham man thought his dad was dying after a horrifying ski crash.
John Dowling, 58, slammed into a metal gate while skiing down a closed slope in the Les Duex Alpes in France with his son Rob.
He was knocked unconscious and covered in blood.
Rob, 23, from Comptons Brow Lane, branded it ‘the most shocking thing I have ever seen’.
His dad was airlifted to hospital and needed more than 50 stitches.
“Me and my dad were on a chairlift and saw a closed run which was being prepared for a race the next day, so I challenged him to a race down it,” Rob explained.
“We were half way down when he must have launched out of his skis head-first into a metal gate.”
Unaware his dad had crashed, Rob carried on down the mountain until his attention was caught by people from the chairlift above.
He unstrapped himself from his snowboard and rushed to his dad’s side where he was met with an horrific scene.
Rob continued: “He was laying their unconscious. I remember saying ‘oh my god’.
“I was feeling guilt and fear because I didn’t know how badly hurt he was.
“I didn’t know if he was slightly hurt or dying.”
Mr Dowling could not speak and had suffered two deep gashes to either side of his head.
He had also lost part of his right ear.
The video shows Mr Dowling surrounded by snow covered in blood.
Rob had to untangle his head and neck from the metal which was blocking his windpipe.
Soon skiers flocked to his aid before the piste patrol arrived on the scene.
Paramedics fitted an oxygen mask on Mr Dowling and he was airlifted to hospital where he spent three days recovering.
Mr Dowling contacted Rob the day after his accident to say he was okay.
Remarkably, he was back on the slopes soon after.
Rob said: “When we met again we were all smiles, it was great to see each other, and we were incredibly relieved he hadn’t suffered any long-term injury.”
The footage was taken three-years-ago, but Rob has only recently released it.
Rob said it took him a very long time to be able to watch the video comfortably, and will only view it with the sound off.
The father and son have since been skiing together.