Taxi driver’s fiery escape
A feral boar running on to the road caused a spectacular accident on the Capt Cook Highway at the Mt Molloy turnoff on Saturday night, as Mossman Taxi owner/driver Charlie Brischetto swerved to avoid the animal.
Mr Brischetto, the sole occupant at about 8.35 pm, suddenly found himself in a situation out of control.
‘‘I was just driving back to Mossman from Port Douglas, listening to the radio when out of the corner of my eye I saw a wild boar run onto the road,’’ he said.
‘‘I swerved to avoid hitting it and clipped the traffic island, the taxi got airborne and did a 360 before the car came to a stop.
‘‘It felt like it took a long time, but it probably wasn’t.
‘‘The engine was screaming so I switched it off but something must have sparked.
‘‘People started screaming for me to get out of the van. The front was on fire.
‘‘The van has an automatic locking mechanism, while driving - when you hit 40km per hour it will automatically lock.
‘‘It appears the impact seized the mechanism and my door wouldn’t unlock or open.
‘‘I didn’t panic but there was the urgency to get out quickly, so I crawled over to the passenger side and went through the window. I managed to get away from the car before the first explosion; there were three explosions all up.
‘‘I feel lucky that I got out in time, it didn’t take long for the cab to be totally engulfed in flames.
‘‘I am just so glad there were no passengers in the van. If all the doors were locked there would have been no way for them to get out.’’
Charlie and his wife Colleen have owned the Mossman Taxi service for 22 years.
Mr Brischetto was driving a Hyundai Imax at the time of the accident that was completley burnout.
Mrs Brischetto said people should be cautious about the automatic locking systems in some cars.
‘‘They really are useless and dangerous, why have it in the first place?’’ she said.
‘‘People should maybe think about having them disconnected through their car dealerships. ‘‘I hate to think what could have happened.’’ Mossman Fire and Rescue lieutenant Andrew Petrack saw the fire put out.
‘‘I was the officer in charge and want to praise my crew for their rapid and diligent response in containing the fireball and clearing up the road, which was re-opened an hour and a half after it was cleaned up.
‘‘When we got there, there were a couple of explosions, the tyres blew.
‘‘The guys put out the fire quickly and did a fantastic job.’’
BURNT OUT: Taxi completely gutted after run-in with wild pig
the blaze on the highway