Matt sat injured waiting for help
EMERALD: Car accidents can be terrifying, especially when you’re alone and injured at night and no one stops to offer help.
Emerald mechanic Matt Werner found himself unable to open his eyes after hitting a kangaroo late at night on the Peak Downs Highway between Clermont and Moranbah.
“The kangaroo came out of the corner and I didn’t see it until a second before it happened and just went ‘bang’, straight into it,” he said.
“When I hit the roo I was doing the full 100 kmh and I didn’t have time to brake, swerve or do anything.
“I hit the roo, it hit right in the driver’s viewpoint so I had glass everywhere and I couldn’t open my eyes because I had it in my eyes.”
Despite the pain and adrenaline Matt stayed calm enough to manoeuvre his way off the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic.
“I had to hold the wheel straight and hit the brakes nice and easy so I didn’t skid anywhere and then just feel for the side of the road and follow that,” he said.
“I threw the hazard (lights) on when I came to a stop, opened my eyes and it hurt so I shut them again, rang Triple Zero and they said ‘don’t open your eyes’.”
With his car still partially on the road, Matt sat with his eyes closed for 20 minutes listening as vehicles sped past before someone stopped to help him.
“I heard about five people drive clean past and nobody bothered to slow down,” he said.
“A guy going the same way I was had to stop because I was in the middle of where he was going, and he had to help me out of the car and splash some water in my eyes to get the glass out.”
The hero of the hour is Freddie, an Emerald man who works out of town and travels along the Peak Downs Highway almost every day.
Matt said Freddie stayed with him until the ambulance, police and firefighters arrived at the scene. He then drove Matt back into Emerald.
“We went and had a look at the roo and talked about work before the ambos got there,” said Matt.
“I still have his shirt. When the ambos came they flushed my eyes out, I had to take off my shirt and he gave me one of his.”
Matt said he began to panic as he heard each car drive past him.
“I was just freaked out,” he said.
“I better not say (what I was thinking) but it wasn’t nice. I was wondering when someone was going to stop.
“I just want to thank Freddie for stopping.”