A WOMAN suffered serious head and facial injuries after falling out of a moving taxi.
Melissa Woods, 23, was on a works night out in Burnley before the incident happened.
She was being treated in hospital yesterday for her injuries, including a broken cheekbone.
Police are investigating but ruled out any suspicious circumstances.
The former Haslingden High School pupil who now works at Manchester Airport as a cosmetics consultant had been to Koko's, in Elizabeth Street, with around 16 friends.
The group set off from the Woolpack in Haslingden before going to the club on Saturday night.
At around 1am a minibus picked up Melissa, who lives in Helmshore, and some of her friends to take them home.
But as the minibus was driving along Burnley Road, in Crawshawbooth, she fell out of the side door and her head hit the road.
Paramedics and police were called and she was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital by ambulance shortly after 1.30am.
Officers closed the road, near the junction of Goodshaw Avenue North, for four hours to carry out an investigation.
Saddique Mohammed, 41, who was driving the taxi for Connections, said he heard screams and slammed on the brakes.
The dad-of-three, from Rawtenstall, said: "When I got out of the taxi I was in tears.
"The poor girl looked so poorly and her entire head was bleeding. I thought she was dead.
“I can’t get that image of the young woman in the road out of my mind.
“My wife received a call from a friend to say I had run a woman over when I hadn’t.
“I think I am still in shock. This incident has really upset me."
Melissa's condition was described as ‘stable’ but she will need surgery to repair extensive damage to her cheekbone.
Police reopened Burnley Road, Crawshawbooth, shortly before 6am Sunday.
A police spokesman said: “Any witnesses or anyone with any information is urged to contact Lancashire Police on 08451 25 35 45.”