Aussie teen 'lucky to be alive' after crucial mistake on highway

The 19-year-old braced herself as the truck she was driving began to roll.

A young woman is "lucky to be alive" after her car hit a soft shoulder and flipped 11 times on a highway in Western Australia.

Kasey Lea said on TikTok she was driving to work on Saturday morning at 80km/hour on the South Coast Highway when she tried to pick up her water bottle.

"I was driving and then looked down to get my water bottle in the cab and I obviously steered and hit the gravel and started braking," the 19-year-old said. "Since it was a farm truck I had a 1000-litre full fire unit at the rear of the ute and the water started shifting, which steered me back onto the road."

A photo of the 19-year-old WA woman in hospital after the crash on the South Coast Highway, WA. A photo of her ute flipped to the side, being inspected.
A 19-year-old WA woman is ‘lucky to be alive’ after her car rolled on the South Coast Highway in Western Australia. Source: TikTok/kcloveseveryonee

"I started skidding sidewards and the water threw me into a roll which rolled me 11 times down the highway."

"When sideways down the middle of the highway, I was curled into a ball in the driver's seat (with my) arms and head tucked and braced for a roll."

Ms Lea said she was able to "get out of the car wreck" and wait on the side of the road for assistance.

Yahoo News Australia spoke to the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services, who attended the crash at South Coast Highway, Ravensthorpe, with the nearest cross street being Annabel Creek Road.

"On Saturday at 10.48am we got a call from St Johns saying a person was involved in a car rollover, rolling over approximately 11 times," a DFES spokesman said. "There was debris all over the highway and we cleaned up the scene. It’s now been left with police."

Seat belt saved WA woman's life

Her car, which she described as a "box of metal" had no airbags, however she believes wearing a seatbelt is what "saved her life".

As a result of the incident, Ms Lea sustained a broken shoulder, damage to her sternum, and a head injury.

"I had my window down and so as I was rolling, my head hit the road through the window so I've got cuts, lumps and bruising one the side of my head," she said.

"I'm very immobile at the moment and in a lot of pain."

However she said she is now "stable" and awaiting an X-ray and scan results at hospital.

"I'm very lucky that I managed to walk out of that and be here to tell the story," she said. "It was quite frightening."

She also posted images of what her now-destroyed ute looked like after the crash. One social media user said she was "lucky to be here".

A photo of the destroyed ute the young WA woman was driving when she crashed. A photo of the road on the South Coast Highway which was damaged.
The woman's ute was destroyed in the crash, which also caused damage to the road. Source: TikTok/kcloveseveryonee

Accident on one of WA's most dangerous roads

According to the Royal Automobile Club of WA (RAC) 2022 Risky Roads Survey, the 592 km South Coast Highway is the fifth most dangerous road in the state.

The key reasons were its "poor road quality, lack of overtaking lanes and narrow passes," RAC says on its website.

The intersection between South Coast Highway and Albany Highway (Chester Pass roundabout), Albany, was also rated the top most risky intersection, due to its "confusing layout".

As well, the South Coast Highway and Strickland Street, Denmark intersection was ranked 10th.

"Someone is killed or seriously injured on our roads every five hours, that’s why feedback from this campaign is so important as it will continue to amplify our calls for safer roads across WA,” RAC General Manager External Relations Will Golsby said on the RAC website.

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