“No time to think, we just had to help”

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY RACHEAL WIL­LETT

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.”

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