EIGHT MILE MIRACLE: Nathan Sutton's car was crushed in a horror crash caused by fatigue.
EIGHT MILE MIRACLE: Nathan Sutton's car was crushed in a horror crash caused by fatigue. Molly Glassey

'Police told me I looked like a dead body'

A CAR, mangled, its front shredded and compressed sits in a Warwick police impound.

In some ways it's a painful reminder for Nathan Sutton of the worst night of his life, but in others it's a lesson in safe driving learnt the hard way.

The 18-year-old was returning to his Glennie Heights home after visiting a friend at Clifton early on the morning of April 16 when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed his ute on the New England Hwy.

"Police told me afterwards I looked like a dead body laying on the road," he said.

"I still don't know how I'm not dead."

Nathan lay on the side of the highway before a truck driver stopped to help him and he was then airlifted on life support to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

"I fell asleep," he admitted.

"There's a lesson there; you need to look out for the signs before you get behind the wheel.

"Rest, or rest in peace."

Nathan was driving from his friend's house in Clifton at 1.30am when he crashed.

"I hit a kangaroo at the beginning of the drive," he said.

"But then I remember I fell asleep a few times before I actually crashed.

"I'd swerve off the side of the road, and then wake up, and straighten back up."

Yesterday was the first time the 18-year-old crash survivor saw his car up close, eight months after he fell sleep behind the wheel.

"I've seen it from outside the yard," he said.

"All I could do was laugh.

"I think it was just my body's strange response to remembering.

"I didn't think it would be that bad until I actually saw it."

Now, the crash serves as a powerful reminder to his friends to think before getting behind the wheel.

"We avoid driving at night, and even if we feel a little tired, we won't get in the car," he said.

"Sometimes I'll look at my scars, or even start to feel a little tired driving.

"I start to panic, and remember how close I was to dying."



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