News State QLD News Dashcam captures terrifying moment car hits floodwaters

Dashcam captures terrifying moment car hits floodwaters

Car in flood waters comes to rest against a tree
Adrian Hastwell-Batten's car came to rest alongside some trees. Photo: Adrian Hastwell-Batten
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The terrifying moment a car crashes into a flooded Queensland road and washes away has been captured on dashcam.

Sydney man Adrian Hastwell-Batten was driving through rain-drenched Sharon, just outside Bundaberg on the Fraser Coast last week, when he came over a ridge and face-to-face with a road flooded by a rising river.

He slammed the brakes, but it was too late to stop his car from ploughing into the waters.

Adrian Hastwell-Batten
Adrian Hastwell-Batten on the roof of his car, waiting to be rescued. Photo: Adrian Hastwell-Batten

“I’ve just f–––ing crashed into a river dude. F–––,” he can be heard saying to someone on the phone.

“My car is just f–––ing gone, dude. I’m in a river, I’m f–––ed, I’m f–––ed.”

Mr Hastwell-Batten’s car was swept off the road and came to rest against a tree.

He climbed out the window and was left stranded on the roof for about an hour before being rescued by a swift water rescue team.

Speaking with ABC News, Mr Hastwell-Batten said despite the language used in the video, he remained calm.

“I kept telling myself just don’t panic, look for an escape route. As long as I stayed calm I think I was going to be alright,” he said.

“So I just wound the window down so I had my escape route and sort of waited for a bit of water to come in so it would be a bit more stable.”

Mr Hastwell-Batten said it was lucky the car was swept into a tree, which stopped it being washed into the main river.

“Once it got caught up on a tree I knew I was pretty much right so I just waited a while and then climbed onto the roof.”

Dashcam video cops criticism online

Mr Hastwell-Batte said keeping calm helped him escape.

“I think in those situations if you allow yourself to panic then you’re pretty much halfway there to being not there,” he said.

While he has copped some criticism online, Mr Hastwell-Batten said there was not much he could have done to avoid the accident in an area he was unfamiliar with.

“If I was a local I’d probably know that roads flood pretty easily; the farmer next door said every time it rains someone goes into that river,” he said.

He said he was driving 80 kilometres per hour in what is a 100kph zone.

“I noticed the ‘road was subject to flooding’ sign … but the signs saying the water was over the road hadn’t been put out,” he said.

“According to the farmer that lives next door to it, the water had been over the road since 10 in the morning, and I was there at three in the afternoon.

The car was towed out of the river on Wednesday, but Mr Hastwell-Batten said it was a write-off.

Adrian Hastwell-Batten's car
The car was a write-off. Photo: Adrian Hastwell-Batten

Earlier this week Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said he was fed up with drivers who ignored warnings and endangered themselves and rescuers in unpredictable flash flooding.

“Frankly, I’m getting sick and tired of seeing these reports on a daily basis, about incidents where our emergency crews are having to put their lives are risk rescuing people who have tried to drive through floodwaters,” Mr Crawford said.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, how experienced you are, or how badly you need to get across that road: if it’s flooded, forget it.”