Jonathan Loates, who works in the Dispatch district, was driving on a 40mph stretch of road last month when the large piece of metal burst through the front of the car, leaving him with a severe cut to his head. It was only his instinctive reaction to duck that is believed to have saved his life.
Luckily the 30-year-old managed to pull over his BMW before collapsing to the ground. Another driver saw the incident and pulled over to help and put some clothing over the wound before ringing the ambulance and staying with him until it arrived.
Mr Loates, who had more than 100 stitches, 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.
"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.
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“I don't 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."
Mr Loates said he wanted to thank the driver who stopped to help him, as well as a woman who was off-duty trainee paramedic, who also stopped to help a short time later before the ambulance arrived.
Mr Loates, who works at a recruitment firm near Hucknall, was driving home to Blyth when the incident happened on the A619 Chesterfield Road, between Darfoulds nursery and before the island heading towards Worksop (A60), between 5pm and 5.15pm on Thursday, January 9.
PC Anthony Brice, who is leading the investigation, said he believed the tow bar had fallen off a long wheel base van like a Transit or a 4x4 or from the back of a scrap van and could have been from a vehicle travelling ahead of Mr Loates or in the opposite carriageway. He also urged anyone with tow bars on their vehicle to ensure they are attached securely to prevent similar incidents, particularly as cold weather can cause metal to contract and become loose.
Anyone with information should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 642 of January 9.