A FORMER councillor shattered his leg 200 metres up a rock face in an abseiling accident in the Swiss Alps.

Richard Toon, 63, has undergone reconstructive surgery in a hospital in the resort of St Moritz, Switzerland.

He had to be airlifted off the cliff after suffering multiple fractures in the incident as he completed the climb with his son David, 27.

The trip had been organised by the Lancashire Mountaineering Club.

Mr Toon said he was recovering well after having two metal plates inserted into his lower right leg.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph from his hospital bed he said: “It was just an accident. As we were coming down I was abseiling diagonally which meant that there was the potential for swinging.

“For one reason or another I took a swing and smacked into the rock face, with my right leg and foot taking the full weight of the blow.”

He was climbing the tough Piz Trubinasca route in the Bregaglia Range at the time of the accident.

Two colleagues further up the cliff, David’s partner Kate Hawkins and friend Stuart Knott, were able to call for emergency help.

David, who lives in Brinscall and works for HML, a mortgage company based in Shuttleworth Mead Business Park in Padiham, helped Mr Toon to a sloping grassy ledge along with the other two.

After a wait of 30 minutes the Swiss rescue helicopter was able to winch him to a nearby lodge where he was put in a stretcher and taken to hospital.

Mr Toon said that he would not let the injury stop him from his love of climbing, despite doctors being unable to tell him when he can leave hospital.

He said: “I am a very determined person and I am focussed on getting back to climbing."

He was injured on a climb two weeks into the trip on August 22. He underwent a major operation to rebuild the leg on Tuesday.

Mr Toon is a former county councillor for Chorley and was the chairman of the county’s highways and transportation committee.

He is currently the chairman of NCER, the National Consortium of Examination Results, and chairman of the Lancashire Local Access Forum.

He lives in Coppull with his wife, Jean