A MAN who survived a horror head-on crash on a remote property last month has issued an emotional plea to drivers to heed the seatbelt message.
Brian Exner, 37, was driving his ute on a dirt track at a Darlington Point property on August 29 when he came over a rise and slammed into another vehicle.
Mr Exner, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, suffered six broken ribs, a broken knee cap, broken sternum and damage to his internal organs.
He was airlifted to Sydney’s St George Hospital and has been told it will take months to recover from his injuries.
Speaking for the first time about the ordeal, Mr Exner said the accident had changed his attitude to driving – and life – forever.
“Life’s so short and it can change in an instant,” Mr Exner said.
“I just remember driving along minding my own business and before I knew it I saw a flash of white and then the crash.
“I remember think ‘oh shit, this is it’, and then being in excruciating pain.”
Mr Exner crawled out of the wreckage of his Holden WB ute and checked on the condition of the other driver, who was not seriously injured.
He admitted he had become complacent about wearing seatbelts on the property, which he worked at as a tractor driver.
“I was in and out of the vehicle several times a day and it was just the inconvenience of having to take the seatbelt off every time,” he said.
“But what I’ve learned is no matter how well you know the property, know matter how confident you feel behind the wheel, always expect the unexpected.
“People on farms don’t think of it and I was one of those people.
“You think ‘it won’t happen to me’, but it can happen to anyone.”