Accidents on regional roads can carry with them the additional hazard of not being reported – as a NSW woman recently found out.
The 45-year-old victim was travelling in her Holden Commodore along Wondalga Road in Tumut at 15:00 on Christmas Day (December 25) when a kangaroo appeared on the road in front of her.
She swerved to avoid the animal but lost control of her vehicle in the process which – as it was driving around a bend at the time – left the asphalt and slid down an eight-metre-high embankment, coming to rest on its roof.
Police say that the woman's left leg was pinned by the wrecked metal chassis, trapping the victims in the upside-down vehicle.
Unable to move freely, she called for help repeatedly but her cries went unanswered for a period of three days.
On December 28 at around 18:00 a 17-year-old male was walking to a neighbouring property when he happened to past by the scene of the accident.
He noticed the wrecked vehicle and climbed down the embankment to examine the Commodore, only to find the female driver still trapped inside.
Pulling out his mobile phone the youth was quick to assure the crash victim that help was at hand before calling emergency services.
Ambulance and police officers were on the scene shortly afterwards and were able to free the woman – who had the weight of her car on her leg – using airbag lifts and hydraulic cutters.
One emergency worker commented to the Sydney Morning Herald on December 30 that the metal had probably acted to restrict the loss of blood from the wounded limb in the same manner as a tourniquet.
Another said that the woman had survived her ordeal without food or drink for three days due to favourable weather conditions and determination.
"I think that was just probably more good fortune than anything that she didn't have any other obvious significant injury," said the ambulance officer.
The woman was taken to the nearby Canberra Hospital by the South Care emergency helicopter, where her leg was amputated by surgeons.
Crashes that are caused through no fault of the driver can be covered by car accident compensation in NSW.
In cases where a victim wishes to review their legal options before committing to a claim, a no win no fee arrangement can be reached.