A young mother and her newborn son miraculously survived a horror crash after an allegedly stolen car slammed into their SUV at 200km/h.
Hayley Reid, 37, and her one-year-old boy had to pulled from their Mazda by strangers after the smash on the Pakenham Bypass in Melbourne’s south- east on Saturday morning.
She shared images of the mangled wreckage on Wednesday as she relived her horrific ordeal.
‘Two people who [allegedly] stole a vehicle were travelling along at a ridiculous speed ran straight up the back of us and slingshot our car into the drain,’ she wrote.
‘My son and I walked away from this terrifying crash a little battered and bruised, but nevertheless we were able to walk away.
‘We were so very fortunate.’
After spending a day in hospital undergoing tests they were released.
But she said her family’s life could have changed forever if she had made the decision to place her son in a forward facing child restraint.
‘He only had two little bruises from the harness in all this carnage. If he was facing forwards, the police officer said this would have been a whole different conversation… his injuries would have been horrendous instead of minor,’ she wrote.
‘Please, please, please keep your babies safe! Keep them rear facing as long as possible! You just never know when the unexpected can happen.’
Meanwhile, three bystanders chased after the driver of the allegedly stolen vehicle who had attempted to flee on foot as Ms Reid and her son were helped out of the car by strangers.
He was restrained on the side of the road during a dramatic citizen’s arrest until police arrived.
Tristan White was one of the men involved in taking down the alleged offender.
He said he was surprised anyone survived the crash.
‘I was on my way to buy a car in Berwick when this absolute knucklehead flew past me in the service lane,’ he told the Pakenham Gazette.
‘With the amount of w*****s on the road these days, I didn’t really think much of it, but soon enough, we saw he’d crashed. It was just chaos.
‘The whole thing was just unbelievable. I thought someone was dead straight away. They’re absolutely lucky to walk out of that alive.’
Mr White said he chased the driver down and dragged him across the road, before flipping him over and sitting on his back until police arrived.
Victoria police confirmed to Daily Mail Australia he was taken to hospital under police guard with only minor injuries.
A 20-year-old man from Hampton Park has been charged with theft and traffic offences to appear at a Magistrate’s Court on August 11.
Ms Reid has thanked the strangers who pulled them out of the wreckage and helped to track down the alleged driver of the other car.
‘A massive shoutout to those AMAZING people who helped me that day. The three men who caught the man until the police arrived, the lovely lady who called the ambulance and stayed with us and the people who helped get our doors open and us out of the car,’ she wrote.