The Fire Brigade was quick to respond to the car on fire near Coral Cove.
The Fire Brigade was quick to respond to the car on fire near Coral Cove. Rob Barich

Roo on road sparks chain of chaos

A DRIVER has recounted his shock after a kangaroo created a chain of events that destroyed his sportscar and sparked a bushfire, yesterday at Coral Cove.

The man was driving his MG sportscar on Barolin Homestead Road, between Coral Cove and Elliott Heads, about midday when the roo jumped out in front of him.

“It came over the top of me, and I swerved but I couldn’t miss it,” the driver, who did not want his name published, said.

After hitting the animal, the Coral Cove man pulled over and saw smoke coming from his car.

“I grabbed a litre of radiator fluid I had in the car to try and put it out,” he said.

“But it wasn’t enough.”

But just as the vehicle was about to go up, two workmen drove by and realised the severity of the situation.

“(The driver) was out of the car and trying to put the flames out, but we just blocked off the road and got him away from the car,” Gary ‘Gazza’ Sturdy said.

“Then it just exploded, in a big fireball — it was only about 10 seconds after we arrived.”

The kangaroo was not killed, and bounded away.

Mr Sturdy and his off-sider Darren Morgan then made sure the driver was unharmed, and started directing other vehicles away from the fireball.

“We just helped the best we could,” Mr Sturdy said.

But before the initial shock had worn off, a new threat sprang up within seconds — as flames from the burning car spread to the nearby scrub.

“It took off at 100 miles and hour,” Mr Sturdy said.

“I could just hear it crackling, it was unbelievable.”

The owner of the MG sportscar was shaken but unhurt after his narrow escape yesterday.

“My arms are a bit burned but I’m okay,” he said.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Bundaberg rural operations manager Tony Johnstone said eight fire crews were called to the large grassfire set off by the incident, and a helicopter was called from Maryborough to conduct aerial waterbombing.

Bundaberg Regional Council also supplied a tanker to replenish water supplies.

“It was developing really quickly so we had all crews straight on it,” Mr Johnstone said.

He estimated that the fire consumed about 25 hectares yesterday afternoon.

It was burning within containment lines last night.



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