A motorist who escaped with minor injuries when he crashed his car avoiding a pheasant has poured praise on his rescuers.

Sean Briggs, 28, was driving back from his gym in Pewsey to his home in Devizes when a pheasant ran in to the road.

He swerved to avoid it, but ended up flipping his car and ploughing through a gap in the hedge before hitting a tree on the A342.

"It just ran out in front of the car, and I automatically tried to avoid it," said customer services operator Sean.

"I've only been living here a year, and come from the centre of Swansea, so we don't see many pheasants in the city centre. It took me completely by surprise."

The die another day pheasant survived the ordeal, but Sean tipped his car, smashing the windows and roof.

"When I swerved I thought I was going to hit the bank but the car toppled and rolled down the hill and clipped a tree.

"The police reckoned I went through a gap in the hedge.

"Some people driving past stopped and helped me," he added. "They must have phoned the police, as I couldn't find my phone.

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"It had flown out of the window along with my wallet. The police arrived, and they were just so kind to me.

"I really do want to thank them. The female police officer was kind enough to charge up my phone which they found, so I could call people.

"I was bleeding from my arm, and the police bandaged it up, and put a blanket around me as it was freezing and raining."

The accident happened around 4.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday.

"They stayed and had a chat with me about the accident, and said to me that a lot of accidents not involving other vehicles were caused by animals or birds around here.

"They called the ambulance, as I was bleeding. I had a few deep cuts on my arm, but I was OK. But they were determined to look after me.

"The male police officer told me he had studied in Swansea, so we had a chat about Swansea!"

He said the ambulance crew were equally friendly. "I'm just so grateful to them all," added Sean.

He was taken to hospital in Swindon and treated for cuts and bruises before being released.

Millions of pheasants die on the roads every year. The most conservative estimates put the figure at over two million.

Some experts think it could be as much as “a third of all pheasants”, which would be well over 10 million.

These numbers don’t include the times when birds are only slightly injured. Or the ones that escape when a driver or rider swerves to avoid them.

A report by the Royal Society suggests that pheasants are the most likely bird to die on UK roads.

They account for nearly 40% of all carcasses recorded by the public.

Pheasants may be commonly killed on the roads simply because there are large numbers of them released in the UK for shooting each year.

The scale of pheasant release has increased by approximately 900% since the 1960s as efficient artificial rearing methods have been developed.