The mother of a three-year-old toddler who went missing for almost 12 hours in dense bushland south of Perth has been airlifted to hospital after her car crashed into a tree.
Only a day after giving an emotional interview about how she thought she was going to have to “bury her son”, Michelle Buckley is at the centre of another tragic circumstance.
Less than a kilometre away from the site where her son went missing, Ms Buckley’s car veered off the road and hit a tree, according to the West Australian.
She was reportedly transported to Bunbury Hospital by rescue helicopter, and is in a stable condition with a possible neck injury.
It’s believed she was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
Horror 72 hours for family
The family’s horrific weekend started on Saturday morning when James wandered into bushland from the front yard of a holiday rental home in the remote area of Yallingup.
After waking up, James and his sister woke up their parents and the three-year-old said he was going to play outside.
“I told him I’d be out in five minutes so I quickly cleaned up, put the rubbish away and went out there and he was just gone,” Ms Buckley said.
“I screamed his name and he just didn’t respond.”
Officers, search teams, neighbours, friends, family and even strangers from Perth rushed to the tourist town to help in the search for James.
As the day went on, the weather dropped to 9C and it began to rain and hail – leaving the parents fearing the worst.
“I honestly thought we were going to find him dead. I thought I was going to have to bury my son,” Ms Buckley said while breaking down in tears.
In what the parents have dubbed a “miracle”, James was found alive and well by his uncle and grandpa roughly 12 hours after going missing and kilometres from the home.
They said James was cold, afraid and hungry but had only a few scratches on him.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.