Witnesses say a driver was fortunate to escape with his life early Friday when a guardrail impaled his car after it veered off Chuckey Highway at Ripley island Road.

The man, whose name was redacted in a sheriff’s department crash report, a public record under Tennessee state law, suffered non-incapacitating injuries and was taken by Greene County-Greeneville EMS to Johnson City Medical Center.

The 2011 Lincoln MKX sedan was eastbound about 12:50 a.m. Friday on Chuckey Highway when it went off the road and impacted the guardrail, which passed through the car but missed the driver, who was alone.

An extrication tool was used to cut the front of the metal railing off the front of the car, while a Greeneville Emergency & Rescue Squad winch was used to pull the car off another section of the railing, Tusculum Volunteer Fire Department Chief Marty Shelton said.

The rail “went through the front of the car and 25 or 30 feet out the back,” Shelton said.

The driver was able to walk to an EMS ambulance, Shelton said.

Chuckey Highway in the area of the wreck was closed for about 90 minutes while the car was separated from the railing, Shelton said.

The condition of the driver was not available Friday morning.