Lewis and Ruby
Lewis and Ruby Lachlan Berlin

How teen hero saved a life from Kingaroy shopfront car crash

THE SPLIT-second decision to save someone's life from an out-of-control car on a footpath is a testament to the bravery of softly-spoken Gold Coast teenager Lewis Symonds who is now being hailed as a hero by police.

Kingaroy police senior sergeant Dave Tierney said he plans to officially recognise the courageous actions of Lewis, 14, who undoubtedly saved a life on Monday morning with his quick thinking when a reversing and out-of-control Nissan Patrol mounted the curb and crashed through a Kingaroy business shopfront, narrowly missing pedestrians.

It was only due to Lewis' lionhearted actions to grab family friend Ruby Hamilton, 9, and move her out of harm's way that no one was killed during the incident on Monday morning.

 

Lewis and Ruby
Lewis and Ruby Lachlan Berlin


The Coombabah State High School Year 9 student said the shocking event was over in a matter of seconds.

"I heard it before I saw it," Lewis said.

"I saw the car smack into a ute and it started reversing towards us and that's pretty much all I can remember.

"I was just acting on instinct."

Kingaroy Street Crash
Kingaroy Street Crash


Lewis and a large group of 22 family and friends had just arrived in Kingaroy for a visit during their school holiday vacation to the Bunya Mountains when the "car come out of nowhere".

Lewis' aunty, Jenny Seesink said the near-miss had shook the entire family.

"I couldn't tell you what speed he (the driver of the reversing car) was going, but he was going bloody fast," she said.

"There was a lot of screeching when the car jumped the curb and the tires were still going and burning rubber inside the shop - there was thick smoke and the engine was still revving.

"We have no doubt it could have been a very different story.

"Lewis is amazing, but we all think he's pretty amazing anyway."

Snr sgt Tierney said initial investigations revealed about 11.30am the driver, an 89-year-old Kingaroy man, suffered a medical episode and lost control of the car while reversing before he clipped a Toyota Hilux, mounted the footpath and crashed through the shopfront, destroying it completely.

"It was very quick for anyone to react like that, particularly given his age to grab someone else and drag them out of the way," he said.

"It's the last thing for pedestrians to expect but he was actually able to think quickly and probably save some people from serious injury or otherwise."

South Burnett

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