The damage to Narelle Christensen's four-wheel drive after it rolled on the loose gravel of Gayndah-Mount Perry Road.
The damage to Narelle Christensen's four-wheel drive after it rolled on the loose gravel of Gayndah-Mount Perry Road.

Lucky to live: Woman walks 4km for help after horror crash

NARELLE Christensen said she was lucky to be alive after her car rolled, landing just metres from a large tree, on a gravel section of the Gayndah-Mount Perry Rd on Thursday morning.

Heightening the already traumatic experience, Mrs Christensen had no mobile coverage and her desperate attempts to contact emergency service via text and calls failed.

She walked for 40 minutes, about four kilometres, until she could get through to an operator and gave them her location.

Likely to be written off, her four-wheel-drive was left with shattered windows and damaged panels, but Mrs Christensen was lucky to escape with bruising.

"My car started to drift in the loose, rough gravel and then I felt myself in motion as the car began to roll," she said.

"I can't recall how many times it rolled but I landed several metres away in the bush. Luckily I had just passed a big tree.

"I wondered if I was dreaming and I told myself that I would wake up in a minute."

When she realised she couldn't correct the car, Mrs Christensen said she kept her focus on the steering wheel, her grip tight.

She has travelled this unsealed section of the Gayndah-Mt Perry Rd two to three times a week for the past 13 years.

During that time a motorist has died after losing control of his vehicle, and countless near-misses have been recorded.

She said it was time something changed.

"Every year the traffic usage increases and the road conditions deteriorate more," Mrs Christensen said.

"As this is a main road, State Government and emergency services should be prioritising this road for a major upgrade, and also the telecommunication services.

"Rural people are being left behind further each year while all attention appears to be in urban areas."

Not a single car passed Mrs Christensen during her 40-minute walk to find help or network coverage.

Roaming capabilities of mobile phones when calling triple-zero mean if a person is out of their service provider's coverage area but are in another, their call will be carried on the other provider's network.

The problem is if there is no mobile coverage, it's not possible to reach the emergency call service via a mobile phone.

On its website, the Australian Communications and Media Authority said personal location beacons should be considered in areas with no mobile coverage.

Mrs Christensen has been in contact with the North Burnett Regional Council regarding her experience and hopes both the telecommunication and road issues will be brought to the attention of higher authorities.



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