Reece Gardiner-Horrocks with her daughter, Nirvana. Supplied
Reece Gardiner-Horrocks with her daughter, Nirvana. Supplied

Car fire survivor’s looks for good Samaritan who rescued her

A YOUNG mum whose car burst into flames minutes after she got out is searching for the good Samaritan who saved her life.

Reece Gardiner-Horrocks, 21, was unaware that flames were licking at the bottom of her car as she drove through Kilcunda on Friday.

A man and his family driving behind her flagged her down, with the car exploding minutes after she got out.

 

The Mitsubishi Outlander in flames. Picture: Supplied
The Mitsubishi Outlander in flames. Picture: Supplied

 

The grateful survivor is now searching for the family to thank them for saving her life and supporting her in the aftermath of the explosion.

"They probably think it was nothing, but they saved my life," Ms Gardiner-Horrocks said.

"It was because of them that I got to come home to my daughter.

"I owe them my life and they need to understand what a big thing that is."

DO YOU KNOW THE GOOD SAMARITAN: EMAIL MONIQUE.HORE@NEWS.COM.AU

The barista added: "I think it is important that people get recognition for the good work that they do.

"These days people often like to watch and film but don't step in to help."

Ms Gardiner-Horrocks finished work at Phillip Island's MotoGP about 5.45pm on Friday and was driving a friend's Mitsubishi Outlander to pick up her one-year-old daughter, Nirvana.

She noticed that the car began revving before a 'slow down' warning appeared on the digital dashboard.

As she looked in the rear-view mirror to slow, the people in the car behind her were flashing their high-beam lights and urging her to pull over.

 

Reece Gardiner-Horrocks, 21, with her daughter Nirvana and the car. Picture: Mark Stewart
Reece Gardiner-Horrocks, 21, with her daughter Nirvana and the car. Picture: Mark Stewart

"They pulled up right next to me and he yelled at me 'get out of your car, it's on fire'," she said.

"By the time he finished the sentence the bonnet started erupting in flames.

"I got out and he ran beside me to get me away from the car.

"I pretty much dropped - I was in shock and was bawling my eyes out.

"By the time I picked up my phone to call triple 0 the whole car had exploded into flames."

A broken fuel link is suspected of starting the blaze but Ms Gardiner-Horrocks said she "couldn't see, smell, hear anything" to alert her to the imminent explosion.

She told the Herald Sun that the man remained by her side, as firefighters battled for an hour to extinguish the flames.

Firefighters respond to the car fire near Kilcunda on Friday, October 25. Picture: Supplied
Firefighters respond to the car fire near Kilcunda on Friday, October 25. Picture: Supplied

Another woman, a volunteer firefighter, also stopped to help and even received a message to respond to the car fire while already at the scene.

"I want to thank everyone involved for helping with the entire situation - the people who pulled over, and especially the fireys who responded so quickly," she said.

Remarkably, Ms Gardiner-Horrocks' keys and sunglasses were in the car at the time of the fire and were the only items to survive the blaze.

The image of her daughter's melted car seat still brings the young mum to tears.

"I have been able to get over everything except seeing her car seat as bubbling plastic," she said.

"She would have been in that seat 10 minutes later."

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Ms Gardiner-Horrocks has launched a Facebook appeal to find the man and his family, which included a toddler.

"He stayed with me the entire time and was reassuring me that I was alive and that was all that mattered," she said.

"When I was out of shock, we were even joking around. I said 'mate, let's go to the pub after this'.

"They were the nicest people and they were so caring."

monique.hore@news.com.au

@moniquehore

 

The charred car. Picture: Mark Stewart
The charred car. Picture: Mark Stewart
The young mum inspects the devastated car. Picture: Mark Stewart
The young mum inspects the devastated car. Picture: Mark Stewart