A 11-year-old boy was the sole survivor of the horror crash near Canberra.
A 11-year-old boy was the sole survivor of the horror crash near Canberra.

Ballina mum rushes to be with son after horror crash

A BALLINA mum has rushed to Canberra to be at her son's side while he is recovering after a horrific crash on Wednesday night near Canberra, which killed his sister and father.

Nate Thornton, 11, was the sole survivor of the mangled Citroen that crashed with an oncoming Ford, which saw his 71-year-old father Glenn Thornton (believed to live in Canberra) and sister Charlotte, 9, die on impact.

Nate was recovering in hospital from stomach injuries yesterday when his mother rushed to Canberra Hospital from her Ballina home after police contacted her.

At this stage it is unknown where the children and their father were living.

On Thursday afternoon as the news reached family and friends, a relative from Sydney, Eliza Leedow, took to Facebook to share her grief.

"Today is a sad day," she said.

"My dearest uncle Glenn and my sweet little cousin Charlotte - you were loved and cherished by so many people and have left us all heartbroken knowing you're gone.

"My brave cousin Nate - by miracle you're alive. Praise God for keeping you safe.

"If you're behind the wheel, be safe and sensible knowing others lives, and your own, are in your hands."

It was understood brave Nate tried to wake his father and sister before the smoke became too much, then kicked in the passenger door window and escaped seconds before the vehicle exploded on the Monaro highway at Michelago.

Close to midnight, he then walked for minutes in the dark before a passing motorist found him, who called the ambulance services as he attended to the shivering boy in the car.

Another relative, Sally Thornton, of Cooma, said on Facebook the "tragic, senseless accident" had left their family "devastated".

"Given the incredible series of events, the fact the young boy survived is a miracle," Superintendent of NSW Ambulance, Mark Gibbs, told The Daily Telegraph.

"He was very resilient when we found him given the enormity of what had happened and what he witnessed.

"He's a remarkable and very strong young boy.

"He was helping us at the scene and was able to tell us exactly what happened.

"He was very lucky indeed."