BENTHAM farmer George Houghton who was crushed by his tractor in February, has kept his promise of donating £10,000 to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance charity after they saved his life.

The retired civil engineer, 84, was taking some bales of hay from his home at Oak Tree Farm to feed his Limousin cattle at Israel Farm, in Eldroth, on February 11.

But after he got off his tractor to open a gate, the vehicle moved and crushed him against a gate post, smashing his ankle and breaking his ribs. He managed to get his phone out of his pocket and rang the emergency services before passing out.

He lay trapped for almost an hour and couldn’t breathe as the front wheel was wedged behind his shoulder.

He came round to see two helicopters in his field - one carrying a critical care doctor - along with fire crews from Bentham and Kirkby Lonsdale.

The YAA crew assessed him and he was flown to the Royal Preston Hospital for surgery on his right leg.

He was so grateful to the care he was given that he pledged £10,000 to the YAA and £1,000 each to the two fire stations.

George said:” I hope this donation will help to save other lives as I wouldn’t like them to have the pain that I have been through. No-one knows if they will be the next victim.”

The money has been donated on behalf of his late wife Betty and his children, Paul, Richard and Maxine.

Linda Stead, North Yorkshire regional fundraiser for the YAA said: “We would like to thank George for his very generous donation. The £10,000 donated will help many other major trauma victims like George receive the best rapid response care that we provide.

“It costs £12,000 a day to keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances maintained and in the air and support such as George’s is the life-blood of our charity.”

George is at home but is still under the care of the team at Preston Royal Hospital and is due to have further plastic surgery on his leg.

His rescue will also feature on the hit TV series Helicopter ER later this year.