A pensioner was thrown across the bonnet of a police car after it ran him down on an icy country road.
Joseph Leghorn suffered serious injuries in the accident – including losing two toes.
The 69-year-old was left with broken bones and fractured ribs and had to have a titanium rod inserted into his leg.
And yesterday, Constable Allan Masson went on trial accused of severely injuring him by driving dangerously.
The officer denies the charge against him.
On the opening day of his trial, Aberdeen Sheriff heard from witnesses who had been driving along the same Aberdeenshire road – the unclassified route which leads from Chapel of Garioch to Newton of Balquhain – earlier on the morning of March 21, 2013.
All of them claimed the surface was extremely icy and they were unable to drive any faster than about 20mph.
One Crown witness, Ian McDonald, told the court he had stopped his tractor on the road at the bottom of a hill where, because of the conditions, several cars had crashed into a stone wall.
He said he got out of the vehicle to help Mr Leghorn, who had fallen on the ice and bumped his head, when he saw the police car coming down the hill.
Fiscal depute Felicity Merson asked the 30-year-old: “Did he get back to his feet?”
Mr McDonald replied: “Not until I saw the police car coming down the hill and then shouted to everyone to get off the road.
“I just knew that he was going too fast. I don’t know why, he just appeared to be going really quickly.
“The car came sliding down the hill, struck the gentleman, carried him a short distance and hit the wall with the man still on the front of the car.
“The car then bounced to the right, the gentleman fell off the bonnet to the left and was left lying on the road.”
Mr McDonald said the police officer got out of his car immediately after it stopped and went to help the man on the ground.
He said the driver appeared shaken but concentrated on assisting the man and calling for help.
Mr McDonald said: “He was trying to get a response from him, asking him if he was ok. He seemed to be struggling to breathe and was in some distress with some blood coming out of his ear.”
The farm worker told the court that Mr Leghorn had been rubbing his head after his initial fall but had “seemed okay”.
He added: “But after the collision, I thought he was going to die. I thought I had seen someone die.”
Mr Leghorn also gave evidence yesterday and told the court he could not remember anything about the accident until he woke up later in hospital.
When asked by Mrs Merson if he had fully recovered from his injuries, he said: “I do not think you ever get back to full health. I am amazingly well considering what happened.”
The court heard that as a result of the crash the police were called and road traffic scene examiners were sent to the scene as they believed Mr Leghorn’s injuries could be fatal.
Forty-three-year-old Masson, who was based in Huntly at the time, had been on his way to the Justice of the Peace Court in Aberdeen when the crash happened.
Masson, whose address was given in court papers as care of Police Service Scotland, Queen Street, Aberdeen, was also based in Inverurie and Westhill during his time with Grampian Police.
According to records kept in the Vauxhall Astra he had been driving, experts estimated he was travelling at speeds of between 33.5mph and 9.2mph in the run-up to the accident and when it actually happened.
The trial, before Sheriff William Taylor, continues today.