Simon Toon, 43, was travelling southbound on the A41 with daughter Amelia, seven, and Henry, five, when another car pulled on to the dual carriageway from the Bourne End slip road – right into the path of Mr Toon’s car.
The IT manager, who lives in New Road, Northchurch, describes the moments before the crash on Saturday afternoon.
He said: “The left lane was clear and I saw three cars getting ready to pull on, but then the third car in that convoy pulled out into my path very suddenly.
“I had to swerve to avoid hitting it and we hit the central barrier, spinning around once and landing in the middle of both lanes.
“I knew I had to get my children out of the car as soon as possible, onto the verge.
“My daughter was sobbing and she said she thought she was going to die.”
A female witness stopped to help the stricken family, while two other motorists pulled over to help Mr Toon push his Peugot 307 out of the path of oncoming traffic.
He then immediately called his wife Jana, 40, who rushed to the scene to comfort her husband and two young children at the side of the busy road.
Despite the high-speed smash the family were miraculously unharmed, but Mr Toon said it ‘hurts’ to know that the driver – believed to be a young male, according to witnesses – fled the scene without stopping.
He said: “It has left us traumatised. I can’t believe they didn’t stop to check that we were okay. It’s their heartlessness that gets to me. My children and I could have been killed.
“I can’t bear to think about the position that would have left my wife in. I was so close to driving my poor babies to their deaths.
“Every day since Saturday has been a bonus. I get very emotional when I think about it. It’s like we’ve been given a new lease of life.”
Now police are hunting for the car involved in the crash, which was a silver five-door Vauxhall MK4 Astra carrying approximately three passengers.
If you can help with the investigation in any way, call non-emergency police number 101, quoting reference 342 of May 2.