Brett Leach.
Brett Leach.

Farmer swims to rescue driver stranded on roof of car

BRETT Leach may dismiss it as "not that dramatic" but his actions late on Sunday night helped to save the life of a young woman clinging to the roof of her car after it was swept off Maraju-Yakapari Rd into Nebia Creek, 11km northwest of Mackay.

The Dumbleton canegrower and well-known rugby league identity went to check the height of the creek, which borders his property, about 10.30 last night and discovered the unfolding drama.

"She was out of the car, sitting on top of the roof, and the car was stuck on the fence," Mr Leach said.

"She was terribly lucky to get out of that car.

"Electric windows managed to wind down for her; she hit the button straight away. She said the car filled up really quickly."

Mr Leach headed into the creek to rescue the frightened young woman.

"I went out for a bit of a swim. I walked out, and went till I couldn't touch any more, and first made sure she was the only person in the car."

"Then I got her to jump to me; she's only a little thing.

"She was pretty grateful and got a hell of a fright."

He said the car was almost totally submerged, with just the roof and the tops of the windows showing.

"The creek was flowing, so once we got away from the car, we had to work to get back," he said.

"But I didn't have that far to go till I could touch the bitumen again. She was probably in about nine feet of water."

Tahlia-Jade Bovero was stranded in floodwater.
Tahlia-Jade Bovero was stranded in floodwater.

Tahlia-Jade Bovero, believed to be 19, was heading home after finishing work at Magpies Sporting Club.

She posted details of her ordeal on Facebook yesterday morning. She said she had finished a long shift and had not realised how much rain there had been when her car was swept off the creek

"I was drowning and only by the grace of God did my electric window wind down enough for me to squeeze out," Ms Bovero posted.

She said her phone worked long enough for her to call her stepfather and 000, but she was shocked to see what a close call she had when she watched her car being retrieved.

"Little did I realise the only thing that was keeping my car from going down the weir was a barbed wire fence," Ms Bovero said.

"If my window didn't work I would have drowned. If I had let go of that car I would have drowned and got caught against the fence. I broke down when I (saw) how lucky I was."

Have you ever saved someone's life?

This poll ended on 12 March 2013.

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