A CABBIE is in a "poorly but stable" condition in hospital after his taxi skidded on an icy, ungritted road.
Akbar Ali, 39, collided with a parked lorry on the A682 Burnley Road at Loveclough, in Rossendale, after losing control of the vehicle at 2.11am on Sunday.
Firefighters had to cut Mr Ali, of Willows Lane, Accrington, and one of his two passengers out of the car and they were taken to hospital.
Initially they were all thought to have suffered only minor injuries but after Mr Ali complained of breathing difficulties he had to be admitted to intensive care.
It is thought he is suffering from hypoxia, a condition where there is a lack of oxygen in the body caused by blocked blood vessels.
A hospital spokesperson said he was "poorly but stable".
Lancashire County Council said the road had been gritted before the accident as temperatures plunged to below freezing.
But police are claiming it took a further two hours, two requests and a second collision for the council to grit the road.
Sergeant Martin Bishop, from Rossendale's road policing unit, said: "The taxi was travelling towards Burnley with two passengers at what appears to have been a normal speed.
"The driver came into contact with ice on the road, lost control and went into a stationary vehicle.
"The two passengers went to Burnley Hospital and were later released with minor injuries."
In a second incident at about 4am a car crashed into a number of parked cars about 200 yards from the first accident.
Sergeant Bishop added: "We were still awaiting the gritters and that's when we instigated the road closure as we didn't deem it to be safe."
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "Burnley Road is on our gritting route and was first gritted before midnight prior to the crash.
"The gritters were sent out again later in the morning and a gritter was diverted off its regular route in response to a request from the police to deal with a problem.
"We are aware of the incident and, as with any collision involving injury, we will receive the details from the police in due course.
"However drivers should not assume that a gritted road will be ice- free and we always urge road users to drive according to the conditions at the time."
Mohammed Arif, chairman of Hyndburn Taxi Association, said he had reported problems of ungritted roads to Lancashire County Council two years ago when a colleague skidded and overturned on the M65.
He added: "We are very concerned that there's been a serious accident, possibly because the road wasn't gritted."