An investigation is underway after a car and a police BMW collided - before both vehicles burst into flames.
Robson Green, 22, said he was driving his Mazda MX-5 on the A515 between Cubley to Ashbourne when traffic came to a standstill and the rear-end collision happened.
The two vehicles were then engulfed by fire.
Mr Green, of Bolsover, said he had to kick open his door to escape.
His partner's 19-year-old brother, who was a passenger in the car, climbed out of the window.
Mr Green said: "Thankfully, both of us got out without major injuries.
"It certainly wasn't the most pleasant experience of my life, I'll tell you that.
"It was a nightmare.
"We could be better - but it could have been a lot worse.
"Both vehicles were completely destroyed."
A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesman said the circumstances of the crash - which occurred on October 16 - are still being investigated.