A DRIVER is fighting for his life in hospital after a kangaroo rebounded off a passing car and smashed through the front windscreen of his ute in a freak accident west of Sydney.
It happened on Pipers Flat Road at Portland, about 25km northwest of Lithgow, around 7.20pm last night.
Police said a Holden Commodore driving west hit the roo, with the impact launching the animal through the windscreen of a Ford Falcon ute which was travelling in the opposite direction.
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Police said the kangaroo impacted with the 32-year-old driver’s head, causing him to lose control of the ute and crash into the guard rails.
The man, reported to be a star country football player, was trapped in the wreckage for some time before being released.
He was airlifted to Westmead Hospital in a critical condition with a traumatic brain injury and severe facial wounds.
Police said the man remained in hospital in a critical condition on Saturday.
The 19-year-old man who was driving the Holden and his two female passengers escaped unharmed.
It’s the latest in a string of accidents involving kangaroos on country roads, prompting police to warn motorists to be extra vigilant at night, particularly at dawn and dusk.
Last month, a kangaroo jumped through the front windscreen of a man’s car in the NSW Riverina.
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The driver was pulling into the driveway of his home in Wagga Wagga when the wild animal smashed through the windshield.
Luckily for the man, the roo landed next to him on the front passenger seat. He escaped with only minor injuries.
Prolonged dry weather is thought to have driven the kangaroo’s closer to suburban areas as they search for food and water.
The explosion in numbers has smash repairers run off their feet.
Some panel beaters in the state’s Central West are said to be booked out for up to eight weeks, with many having to work overtime to keep up with the demand.
David Littlewood of Littlewood Smash Repairs in Parkes said the carnage was the worst it’s been in decades.
“This is the most kangaroo-damaged cars I’ve ever seen,” he told 9 News Central West.
“I’ve been running this business for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”