A MAN whose car 'shot 60m through the air' and plunged into the Mary River late last night managed to get himself onto a bank where he spent the night with significant injuries before he was discovered this morning.
Lying on rocks on the edge of the water the Gympie man, 32, was this morning seen by passers by and reportedly heard screaming out at the bottom of Groves Bridge on the Mary Valley Link Rd at Coles Creek.
A car, an older model Toyota Prado lay beaten up in shallow water in the middle of the river, about a 20-30m drop below the bridge.
Paramedics found the man in a conscious state, but wet, suffering severe pain and with a body temperature of 35 degrees.
Fire and Rescue officers searched the surrounding water for other passengers, but confirmed he was the only person in the vehicle.
Gympie's Queensland Fire station officer Adrian Bond said it was incredible the man had got to where he was on the bank, dragging himself metres from where the car landed in the water.
"He's extremely lucky that he survived it and was seen by passers by," he said.
The crash was not only a cheat of death, but the circumstances remained a mystery with no damage to the bridge guard rails or adjoining fences.
Small scrapes on the road before the bridge show a car could have veered off the Mary Valley Link Rd and shot 60m in the air, trimming trees before landing in the water, station officer Bond said.
Critical care paramedic Jeff Ofield said on arrival the man could not recall what happened, but said a second theory could be the car flipped over the side of the bridge, plunging the 20-30m into the water.
He said the driver, who had been unaided for hours, had substantial injuries and "details were sketchy as to how he got to shore."
Imbil police sergeant Brock Murphy said the forensic crash team were investigating.
" It could have been a fatal crash," Sgt Murphy said.
"It's a very dangerous crash, it's very fortunate the way it landed."
The man was airlifted to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital about 7.30am this morning.
The car is due to pulled out of the river by crane later this morning.
The Mary Valley Link Rd is likely to be closed in both directions during the vehicle recovery.
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