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Australian woman survives 3 days trapped upside-down in crashed car

Ambulance Service Of NSW/Handout / EPA

Debbie McKnight was trapped for three days in her car after the vehicle plunged down an embankment on Christmas Day in Tumut, Australia.

A woman who crashed her car on Christmas Day survived for three days with her leg pinned in the wreckage after it plunged down an embankment in southern Australia, according to local reports.

Debbie McKnight, 45, was driving home from her daughter's house in Tumut, New South Wales, when she swerved to avoid a kangaroo and the vehicle left the road. Her car flipped and landed on its roof 26 feet below, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.


Teenager Caleb Wilks found her late Wednesday when he walked past the wreck and heard her screaming for help, Sky News Australia reported.

"Otherwise we wouldn't have found her," Sergeant Brian Hammond told Sky.

'She was so desperate'
McKnight was flown to Canberra Hospital where surgeons amputated her leg. She was listed in stable condition.

"She was so desperate she was actually going to cut off her leg herself but she couldn't find anything sharp enough," Hammond said.

Ambulance Service Of NSW/Handout / EPA

Paramedics at the scene of the crash in Tumut, Australia.

The Ambulance Service of New South Wales said the pressure from the car on her leg likely acted as a tourniquet and stopped any life-threatening bleeding.

Tumut's mayor John Larter told the Sydney Morning Herald that McKnight was fortunate to have survived.

"As anyone would be in a vehicle lying upside-down for three days over Christmas, I imagine anyone would have been distressed," Larter said. "You'd be missing your family over Christmas and I suppose you'd be wondering when somebody was going to come and rescue you."