Emergency workers have been left in amazement after a man survived a high-speed crash that left his car ripped in two.
The 31-year-old driver was flung from the wreckage and into a roadside puddle of rain after his car, a silver Commodore SV6, came unstuck and hit a pole eastbound on West Dapto Road, just after 9am Sunday.
The man was in shock and complaining of injuries to his lower stomach and hip. But according to witnesses, he never lost consciousness.
Darin Sullivan, station commander at Dapto fire station, was among the first emergency responders.
He said the driver was one of the luckiest he’d seen, after 30 years on the job.
“It’s not too often that you see an impact to that degree, with so much force that it’s ripped the car literally in half,” he said.
“The whole car had ripped open.
“Then the back of the car has swung. Using just gravity, it’s torn itself off the front of the car.
“It took the driver’s seat with it but nothing else, and peeled open
“I’ve seen some cars like that, to some degree, but the most amazing thing for us was that the patient was alive and conscious.
“Once we had worked on the dangers [relating to] fuel and got to take in what had occurred, we had to try and comprehend the fact that a human body came out of that car in one piece. Badly injured, but alive and in one piece.”
Paramedics, police and firefighters took spinal precautions in moving the man into an ambulance.
Witnesses have told authorities the Commodore only narrowly avoided collisions with other cars before it came to rest.
“We get too many car accidents which are a result of speed,” Mr Sullivan said. “To be speeding like that in the rain, we were very lucky that multiple lives weren’t lost.”
NSW Ambulance Inspector Matt Sterling said poor weather prevented the ambulance rescue chopper from landing in the area.
He was transported to St George Hospital by road ambulance, accompanied by intensive care paramedics and the chopper’s doctor.
“Given the damage to the vehicle, the gentleman appears blessed,” Mr Sterling said.
“It’s a reminder to people to drive to the prevailing conditions and be aware of hazards such as puddles of water on the road. You can easily lose control of your vehicle.”
The crash occurred a short distance from Kembla Grange racecourse, near Kembla Grange train station.
The rail line was briefly closed as authorities cut power to the area as part of the clean-up effort.
Fire crews finished clearing the roadway about 11am.
UPDATE: As of Monday evening, the driver remains in hospital in a critical condition