Boy crawls out of wreckage of fiery crash
THE boy trapped in a burning car that crashed head on with another on a Canberra highway smashed the rear door window and clawed his way out of the wreckage.
Nate Thorton, 11, was the sole survivor of the mangled Citroen that crashed with an oncoming Ford, which saw his 71-year-old father Glen Thornton and sister Charlotte, nine, die on impact.
Remarkably, as the car burst into flames, the youngster steeled himself and kicked in the passenger door window clambering out seconds before the vehicle exploded on the Monaro highway in Michelago, south of Queanbeyan in NSW's south-east.
Traumatised yet calm, the boy then walked for minutes in the pitch black before a passing motorist pulled over and helped him.
The driver raised the alarm and called the ambulance services as he attended to the shivering boy in the car.
The driver and sole occupant of the Falcon, Canberra resident Conn Copas, 59, also died in the crash on the single-lane highway.
Police said one of the cars - understood to be the Falcon - had veered onto the wrong side of the road causing the crash.
The young survivor escaped relatively unscathed with minor injuries and is currently being cared for at Canberra Hospital.
"Given the incredible series of events, the fact the young boy survived is a miracle," Superintendent of NSW Ambulance, Mark Gibbs, told The Daily Telegraph.
"He was very resilient when we found him given the enormity of what had happened and what he witnessed.
"He's a remarkable and very strong young boy.
"He was helping us at the scene and was able to tell us exactly what happened.
"He was very lucky indeed."
Michelago: Three people dead following a two-vehicle crash on the Monaro Highway. The driver and passenger of one vehicle died at the scene. The driver of the second vehicle also died at the scene. A child was taken by paramedics to Canberra Hospital. #7News pic.twitter.com/Lvlm8sbRuG— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) July 18, 2018
It is understood the boy, his father and daughter lived in the local area.
When police arrived at the crash scene they found the bodies had been so badly burnt it was difficult to identify them.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said too many fatalities involved cars veering onto the incorrect side of roads.
"What you're doing if you're not concentrating or you let fatigue creep in - you actually take the life or lives of innocent people," he said.
The head-on accident has shocked police during a horror run on the state's roads, with seven people dying in the past 48 hours across NSW.
The Assistant Commissioner said his members were frustrated waking up to the news but added it was lucky the boy had survived.
"I'm actually astounded one person has survived thank goodness," he said.
"A car went to the incorrect side of the roadway, but we're very early into the investigation at this stage."
Assistant Commissioner Corboy called on all NSW motorists to play it safe during school holidays as police ramp up road safety patrols.
"The last 24 hours has put a dent in what's happening," he said.
The seven deaths bring this year's road toll to 199 compared to 196 at the same time last year.
Just before 9.30am today a 73-year-old man died in a crash between a Toyota Camry sedan and a Toyota LandCruiser towing a caravan on the Mitchell Highway, at Wellington, in central NSW.
The man, the sole occupant of the Camry, was trapped in the wreckage. He was given medical treatment, but died at the scene.
The male driver of the LandCruiser and his two passengers were uninjured.
Yesterday morning, a man died and three people were injured after a two-vehicle crash on the Central Coast.
Emergency services were called to Wilfred Barrett Drive at Magenta just after 11am yesterday, after reports a Mitsubishi Lancer and a Range Rover Evoque had collided.
The male driver of the Mitsubishi - and sole occupant - died at the scene. He is yet to be formally identified.
The male driver of the Range Rover, and his two passengers, a man and woman, were released after being trapped for a short time.
A 74-year-old man died when his Jaguar veered off the road and rolled on the Hume Motorway, near Picton Road, Pheasants Nest, about 8.15am on Wednesday.
The man, was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to Liverpool Hospital, where he later died.
Police also confirmed an 89-year-old woman who reversed her car into a brick wall in Sydney's south has died in hospital.
She died on Wednesday afternoon, a day after the crash in the suburb of Sylvania.
"To lose seven lives in the course of two days on our roads is nothing short of a tragedy, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said.
"With the school holidays coming to an end and more people on our roads, drivers need to pay attention to ensure they arrive at their destination safety.
"Our message is quite clear, all drivers, passengers, riders, cyclists, & pedestrians, should be aware of the risks not take their road use for granted," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.