Bundaberg woman Sarah Daley, 20, suffered horrific injuries in a crash that almost killed her.
Bundaberg woman Sarah Daley, 20, suffered horrific injuries in a crash that almost killed her. Scottie Simmonds

How did she survive?

A FRACTURED neck and spine, a broken pelvis, five broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a punctured lung - these were the shocking injuries Sarah Daley suffered in a crash that almost killed her.

But instead the 20-year-old Bundaberg woman is making a remarkable recovery after the horror smash in the Northern Territory last month.

"I'm amazed I even came out of it alive," she told the NewsMail.

Miss Daley was driving along the Stuart Hwy early on the morning of May 5, on her way to Darwin to enjoy a day off from the Pine Creek mine where she works, about 200km south of the city.

Halfway through her two-hour trip, it is believed Miss Daley lost control of her Toyota Corolla and smashed head-on into an oncoming boat trailer.

"The boat flipped off and the trailer went over my roof and ripped the roof off," she said.

"My car was just spinning in the middle of the road when another car, a Toyota Hilux, hit my car at 130kmh.

"It completely took the back end of my car off."

Miss Daley does not recall anything about the crash and suffered memory loss for more than a week afterwards.

She said a passer-by - a retired paramedic - rushed to her aid and held her neck up for 40 minutes until help arrived. "I was found outside the car with the seatbelt wrapped around my neck - I didn't have a pulse," she said.

The driver of the boat trailer managed to escape without injury, and a woman from the other car sustained a fractured ankle.

Miss Daley was flown to Royal Darwin Hospital, where she spent three days in intensive care.

"The doctor said to me that 90% of people with my injuries would be a quadriplegic - it's a miracle I'm not," she said.

The young woman spent four weeks in hospital, unable to do anything but lie down for three of those weeks.

Miss Daley said the reason for her survival was that she had been wearing her seatbelt, and she was "amazed" that she came out of the horrific crash with her life.

"I'm very lucky, especially with all the injuries I've got," she said.

"The seatbelt definitely saved me."

Miss Daley said it was still too soon to know when she would be able to get behind the wheel of a car again.

"It helps that I have no memory (of the crash)," she said.

"But as soon as I want to go somewhere, I'm going to get in the car and go.

"(The crash is) not something that's going to hold me back in life."



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