A mother says she and her family are lucky to be alive after a traumatic crash which sent their car flying from the road into woodland.

Vicky Matthews, 39, was pulled from the wreckage by her son, Alfie Crouch, who was a passenger in the back of the car.

They were on the A23 at Handcross when the horror happened. Vicky and Alfie were being driven by Vicky’s partner after the family had been for a meal in Crawley.

As Vicky turned to speak with her son in the back, her life “changed for ever”.

The Argus: Vicky's vehicle in the bushes after the crashVicky's vehicle in the bushes after the crash (Image: Submitted)

“We were travelling on the inside lane, the slow lane, when I leant round to face my son who was sitting in the back, then all I saw a huge silver flash,” said Vicky, from Brighton.

“A car had come crashing into the driver’s side of our car and before I had time to process it, we were over the grass verge and into the trees.

“My partner and Alfie were fine but had to break down branches so I could get out.”

Vicky said the driver of the other vehicle “got up on the grass verge without checking whether we were OK and started making phone calls”.

The Argus: Queues of traffic after the incidentQueues of traffic after the incident (Image: Submitted)

Emergency services then arrived on the scene and closed one lane of traffic, causing major delays and tailbacks as the night drew in.

But it was far from over for Vicky, who collapsed on the roadside.

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She was put on a stretcher by paramedics and taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. Although she escaped without serious injury, Vicky has been suffering from “extreme” headaches “nonstop” since.

The Argus: Vicky and AlfieVicky and Alfie (Image: Submitted)

“I am very surprised to alive. We have been back to the scene since to try and deal with the situation and it was very emotional,” said Vicky.

“It’s the first thing I think about when I close my eyes to go to sleep. I think it will affect me for ever.”

Vicky said she is thankful to be alive after the crash, which happened on May 15, especially as soon afterwards she discovered she was to become an aunt.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "This was a minor injury-only collision, reported at about 7.45pm on May 15.

"A temporary road and lane closure was in place. Police are not appealing for any further information about this incident at this time."