Thursday, 1 April 2010
The driver checked his vehicle and discovered the impact had made a hole in his radiator grille, but continued on his journey home without realising he had a passenger wedged under the bonnet.
Around 400 miles later he stopped at a service station on the M1 near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, to take another look at the damage before stopping at a garage for a repair quote.
Mr Murphy, 41, of Leeds, said: 'All of a sudden I saw this green head behind the radiator. I couldn't believe it. My first thought was "Oh dear, it's dead, what am I going to do here?" because it wasn't moving.
'When its feathers moved I put it down to the wind, but then I saw it was breathing. I couldn't believe it.'
With the help of another motorist he prised the duck out using a screwdriver and put the mallard - now nicknamed 'Plucky' - into a cardboard box and drove him to the nearest PDSA centre.
Vets told Mr Murphy the duck was suffering from bleeding from the beak and a broken wing, but they were confident he would make a full recovery.
He said: 'If they can fix him up I'll be more than happy to take him back to Belgium and release him back into the wild, but maybe this time in a comfy box rather than the bonnet of my van.'