Crash victims made panicked last call from sinking car: 'We are drowning'

·3-min read

Two woman who became trapped in their car after it crashed into a lake made a desperate call to their family, telling them: "We are drowning."

At around 6.40am on Sunday, a white Toyota Corolla turned onto Gnangara Road in Aveley in Perth's northern suburbs and for "unknown reasons" crossed a median strip and continued into a lake.

The 20-year-old female driver and the 20-year-old passenger died at the scene, West Australian Police said.

The West Australian has identified the women as Nidhi Lalji Hirani and Ruxmi Premji Vaghjiani. They were reportedly driving to work at the time of the crash.

Bystanders desperately tried to save the women.

Nidhi Lalji Hirani (left) and Ruxmi Premji Vaghjiani were killed after their car crashed into a lake in Perth. Source: Facebook/WA Today
Nidhi Lalji Hirani (left) and Ruxmi Premji Vaghjiani were killed after their car crashed into a lake in Perth. Source: Facebook/WA Today

Crash victim made panicked last call

The two women were living with Ms Vaghjiani's uncle and aunt, Manisha and KP Halai.

Halai said he received a panicked call from his niece after they crashed into the lake.

“Nidhi just said, uncle we are drowning, the car is going down,” he told Nine News.

He urged them to try and kick the glass in and open the doors, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

By the time Halai arrived at the scene, others were already trying to help but within three to four minutes the car became submerged.

“I can still not figure out how they went into the water … I can still not digest how they ended up there,” he said.

Witnesses tried to smash windows with spanner

One witness, Singh, told 7News he saw that the women had tried to smash the car windows in an attempt to get out, adding they could not get it open.

Singh cannot swim, so he tried to flag down other motorists. He told Perth Now two or three cars stopped to help and the bystanders grabbed a spanner.

At that point, the women in the car were banging on the windows for help. One man who could swim went into the lake with the spanner to try and free them.

"By the time he reached the car, in two or three minutes … it was too late, we could not smash the doors and get things open," Singh told Perth Now.

Among those who were trying to save the women was their roommate, Singh said.

West Australian Police Inspector Craig Collins said due to the location, getting to the women in the car was "very difficult".

Two women have died in a car crash in Perth's north. Source: 7News
Two women have died in a car crash in Perth's north. Source: 7News

Insp Collins said at this point it was unclear what caused the women to veer off the road and into the lake.

"It's early stages of the investigation," he said.

"We haven't got anything other than we don't believe there's any other vehicle involved."

Major Crash investigators are investigating the crash and police are appealing to anyone who may have dashcam footage of the incident.

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