“No time to think, we just had to help”
A Sunday afternoon trip into Mulwala to have a seed sample tested took a dangerous turn for a Corowa farmer when he came across a fiery car crash.
Kris Sharp and his father had earlier made the fateful decision to take the vehicle with the quick-spray unit on the back into town, rather than change cars.
That was a decision which would later help save someone’s life.
“We were headed into Mulwala and a vehicle came towards us and flashed its lights,” Mr Sharp said.
“We thought there might have been police up ahead – but then we came around a bit further and saw three or four cars and a truck pulled up on the side of the road.
“A bloke waved us down and started shouting about a fire extinguisher.”
The men got out of the car and found a white vehicle on the side of the road well alight.
“The flames were up probably a foot over the bonnet and the grass was catching fire,” Mr Sharp.
“One bloke had already emptied his fire extinguisher and another guy was using a water bottle but the car was still on fire.
“The driver was trapped in the front seat and people were yelling and trying to get the door open.
“There was no time to think, we just had to help. We had the quick-spray unit on the back so I grabbed the hose and just started spraying the fire.”
With emergency services on the way, the group of motorists set about providing medical assistance to the two small children who had been in the vehicle, extinguishing the fire and directing traffic around the scene.
“We kept telling the driver it was going to be okay, trying to keep him talking and keep him awake and once the fire was out we kept watching it to make sure it didn’t flare up again,” Mr Sharp said.
“There were people on the phone to the ambos getting instructions on how to help the kids and it seemed like the emergency services got there pretty quickly.”
Emergency services were eventually able to free the driver from the vehicle and he was later airlifted to Melbourne.
“I don’t know what would have happened if people hadn’t stopped to help,” Mr Sharp said.
“We just did what we could and later on one of the local fire brigade guys said if we hadn’t got that fire out when we did there would most likely have been another fatality.
“If we hadn’t have driven in with the spray unit on the back we would never have been able to get that fire out.
“It’s just one of those things. It was a terrible accident and we just did what we could to help.”