Woman's split-second decision before car explodes into flames

A young driver has shared the terrifying moment her car went up in flames while driving through regional Victoria on Saturday.

Chiara Hocking, 20, said she was driving her Nissan Micra along Beechworth Wangaratta Road, in Victoria's northeast, when her car began to "struggle up a hill".

Ms Hocking pulled over where it was safe to do so and seconds later her car caught alight. Luckily, she managed to jump out just in time but she was "absolutely hysterical".

Car explodes into flames Victoria highway
Ms Hocking's car burst into flames on a regional Victorian road seconds after she escaped it. Source: TikTok/chiarahocking1

"I was waiting for somewhere to pull over to call dad to say my car was sounding funny, but all of a sudden I heard a loud bang, so I flung my door open and sprinted down the road," she told Yahoo News Australia.

Ms Hocking said flames "quickly began dropping from the engine" before her car exploded.

"I was terrified," she admitted.

"I was very lucky to have jumped out and ran away in time."

Failed calls for help

The roadside incident caused a roadblock for up to an hour, she revealed, as several police cars, fire trucks and paramedics rushed to the scene.

At first, Ms Hocking's calls to Triple-0 failed due to no phone service, but paramedics just so happened to drive past as her car was engulfed in flames.

The 20-year-old shared video footage of the incident on TikTok, which showed the extent of the damage caused. The car was burnt to a crisp with nothing but a shell remaining.

As emergency services attended to the flames, Ms Hocking waited in the back of an ambulance wrapped in a police coat, which can be seen in the video she shared.

"My dad arrived on scene quicker than the emergency services and hiked up and through the bush to get past the car and come see me," she told Yahoo News Australia.

"He couldn’t walk on the road where the car was [because it was blocked] but he knew how scared I was."

Burnt Nissan Micra on road
All that remains of the Nissan Micra is a burnt-out shell. Source: Supplied

Once the flames were extinguished, Ms Hocking inspected her car and was devastated to learn her much-loved vehicle was beyond repair.

While not her first car, this one "holds the most memories," she revealed.

"I spent 10 months solo travelling around Australia and this little Micra took me on many four-wheel drive tracks that I didn’t think it would handle."

Ms Hocking said her car 'holds a lot of memories' and is devastated that she'd lost it. Source: Supplied
Ms Hocking said her car 'holds a lot of memories' and is devastated that she'd lost it. Source: Supplied

Despite this, she realises it's "just materialistic" and that she's lucky to be alive.

People in the comments agreed she was "very lucky" while some who had a Micra of their own expressed concern for their own car.

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