A SURVIVOR who was standing next to the road when the Hawker Hunter smashed down in front of him has spoken of his devastation for “those poor souls who did not make it”.

David, who is in his 50s, ran for his life when the jet came down on the A27 and says he felt the “heat of the fireball” chasing after him.

He managed to get out of reach of the flames but picked himself up to see the appalling wreckage behind him.

He said: “I thought everybody was dead and then I walked off as well. I could not, I did not, want to see any more.

“It was just the thought that the people would have been some of those I was talking to moments earlier.”

He had gone to watch the airshow as he did every year.

Choosing to stay on the road rather than go inside for a better view of the planes, he started chatting to fellow aviation enthusiasts on a patch of grass next to Old Shoreham Road as the Hunter came over.

He said: “I looked up and it did a pass and then came back on a second pass and commenced a loop.

“And I noticed he was quite low and I thought, that is very, very low for an aircraft.

“And when he came out round at the top I remember saying to the guy next to me, ‘I am not sure this guy is going to make it’.

“We were standing on the green and and then I lost sight of it because there were the bushes and the trees. Then everything went quiet and I said to the guy next to me this does not look good. I think he is going to crash’.”

Moments later, the plane smashed into the A27, obliterating cars and killing at least 11 people, yards from where he was standing.

He continued: “I just ran as soon as I heard it. And a second later, literally a second later, I felt the intense heat of the fireball.

“I saw something fall just in front of me and at that moment I collided with somebody else running away.

“Then I looked back where I was standing and I could not see what had happened to the others.

“I could not see anyone, just burning wreckage. I just had the awful feeling that a lot more people were killed than were.”

He added: “There is the shock that I survived and I was so close.

“I just feel sorry for those poor souls who do did not make it.

“I was not far away from where they were, and I made it and they did not. It is a memory that will probably never fade until the day I die.”

He added he would like to talk to anyone else who was also standing on the green and survived and he asked that anyone who recognises his photo should get in touch via The Argus.