Elderly driver lucky to survive after ute flies up ramp and catches fire


An elderly driver has been trapped in a burning ute, which became airborne after careering up the ramp of a parked tow truck. 

The tow truck had been parked with lights flashing, ready to pick up a vehicle when the accident occurred.

“At 70, 80kms an hour, it’s scary, it’s dangerous,” said truck owner Brett Stewart. 

In wet conditions the impact of the ute launching from the truck and landing on its side sounded like thunder. 

The tow truck had been parked with its lights flashing, when a ute careered up its ramp and flipped. Source: 7 News.

People rushed to help the trapped driver in the ute as his vehicle caught fire.

The truck was legally parked, and fortunately its driver hopped out minutes before impact.

Not surprisingly the ute is a write off, but remarkably the driver, aged 85, avoided any serious physical injury and in fact had to be convinced to go to hospital.

The elderly driver’s licence will be reviewed. Source: 7 News
Witnesses rushed to the driver’s aid as the car caught fire. Source: 7News

At no stage did the driver of the ute hit the breaks. He told his rescuers he had seen the truck but thought it was in the distance.

The driver of the ute has been spoken to by police. The 85-year-old’s licence will be reviewed.

The crash comes seven months after a tow truck driver lost an arm after being rammed on Peninsula Link.

The industry is urging the state government to make it law for motorists to slow down and move over around tow trucks.

They say towies are enduring safety scares on a regular basis.

“They say a prayer before they get out of a truck,” said Jessica Gomers.

“They look at the picture of their kids in the sun visor and then they jump out and they do their job.”