A 'GOOD Samaritan' act almost cost a Newton Stewart man his life on Saturday evening.
Fifty-six year old Leslie McNairn volunteered to help a fellow bus passenger, a blind man believed to be visiting a friend in Palnure, over the busy A75 from the village bus stop on the west-bound carriageway.
But on his way back across the road Mr McNairn was hit by a Newton Stewart-bound car as horrified passengers in the waiting Stagecoach bus looked on.
Mr McNairn was tossed in the air by the silver Peugeot 106, driven by 18 year-old Holly McColm from Minnigaff.
The car's shocked occupants called the emergency services immediately, at 7.25pm.
"The gentleman was helping a blind man across the road from the bus," Inspector David McCallum told the Gazette at the scene.
"He walked him across the road, then went to return to the bus to continue his journey and was hit by a west-bound car."
Within minutes an ambulance was on the scene, and after assessing Mr McNairn's injuries as 'potentially fatal', the crew called in an air ambulance to take him to Dumfries.
The ambulance team stabilised the casualty before transferring him to the waiting helicopter parked in the middle of the road, by then closed to traffic.
On arriving in hospital, Mr McNairn was found to have a broken left leg, a broken right arm, severe bruising to the left side of his body and a severe head wound, and underwent surgery the next day.
Traffic was initially diverted up the narrow A 712 to new Galloway, then down to Castle Douglas, but the volume of traffic meant police quickly had to divert all through traffic between Stranraer and Castle Douglas via Ayr along the A77 and A713.
Several articulated lorries are believed to have got stuck as drivers tried to find short cuts round the accident scene back on to the A75.
The road reopened at 11.19pm.
Mr McNairn's condition is improving in hospital.