Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Police praise car crash rescuers

Passers-by improvised to save the life of a driver whose car burst into flames after crashing on the Northern Hwy.

BARBARA SUNGAILA June 19, 2014 3:10am

Passing motorists put out a fire and saved a motorist’s life after a car left the Northern Hwy on Thursday and hit a tree. Photo: Barbara Sungaila

Police have praised the life-saving efforts of passing motorists who were first on the scene when a car left the Northern Hwy at Lady’s Pass on Thursday.

Leading Senior Constable Darren Scherger of Goornong police said they managed to extinguish a fire inside the car.

‘‘Bottles of water, everything they had available, onlookers used to put the fire out, which is why (the driver’s) still alive,’’ he said.

A Wagga Wagga man, 38, was travelling south when his grey Volkswagen left the road about 4.15pm and hit a tree.

He was the sole occupant of the vehicle and remained trapped for about an hour while SES volunteers worked to free him.

He was then flown to The Alfred hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening chest and leg injuries.

He has been placed in an induced coma and remains in a critical, but stable condition.

Leading Sen. Constable Scherger said the cause of the accident was under investigation, but it was likely to be fatigue.

‘‘There were no skid marks,’’ he said.

‘‘And no indication of excessive speed.’’

It was the second accident on this stretch of the Northern Hwy in two weeks.

A Moama man, 40, was killed and a Echuca man, 53, was seriously injured when their car left the Northern Hwy near Gibb Rd and crashed into a tree after either hitting or swerving to avoid a kangaroo on May 29.

Thursday’s accident was attended by police from Axedale, Goornong and Heathcote; Mt Camel and Heathcote fire brigades; Heathcote SES and Heathcote paramedics.

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