Three young men on their way to Cooma were lucky to escape with their lives after they hit a kangaroo on the Monaro Highway early today, resulting in an electrical fault that sent their car into flames.
The accident happened just north of Michelago at about 7am at almost the exact spot where three people died in a head-on collision between two cars just five weeks ago.
Michelago fire captain Brent Wallis – who has had to attend both accidents - said the men were very lucky not to be injured. The men turned the ignition off after smelling smoke as they stopped on the other side of the road and got out and soon after the car burst into flames.
The kangaroo bounded down from the embankment and hit them while their car was travelling south.
The car moved to other side of the road after the impact with the kangaroo. As they got out of the car smoke was coming from the engine area, and soon after the car burst into flames, also igniting a grass fire.
“The flames were about four metres high,” Mr Wallis said. The kangaroo was a medium-sized eastern grey.
“The boys were very shaken up. The impact of the collision with the kangaroo has caused some kind of electrical fire in the engine and it’s taken off. This kangaroo bounded down the slope from the other side of the road and the driver was taken by complete surprise.” The boys joined in the effort to control the grass fire.
There is a strong metal guard rail to the eastern side of the road and a merging lane not far away. It is one of the safest stretches of road between Canberra and Cooma, but has been the scene of one tragic, and now one terrifying accident in a matter of weeks.
An 11-year-old child survived a horror crash in the same area on July 18 when a Citroen sedan and a Ford Falcon collided. The driver of the Ford Falcon died at the scene. The driver and passenger of the Citroen were also killed. The Citroen caught on fire as a result of the crash. The child managed to crawl out from the wreckage. The cause of the accident is not known.
There had been a number of other serious accidents in the same location over the last few months, Mr Wallis said.
He warned people that kangaroos were on the move in the dry weather.