Premier Denis Napthine offers Port Fairy crash victim some high-profile assistance

Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said on Melbourne radio yesterday he came to the aid of the woman who was trapped in her car following a collision.

Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said on Melbourne radio yesterday he came to the aid of the woman who was trapped in her car following a collision.

A WOMAN who was injured in a car crash near Port Fairy on Sunday night had some high-profile assistance it has been revealed. 

Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said on Melbourne radio yesterday he came to the aid of the woman who was trapped in her car following a collision. 

The Premier told 3AW he was dropping someone off at the Port Fairy airfield when he came across two smashed cars on Skenes Road. 

“I was pleased to be able to assist,” Dr Napthine said. 

“I think the person who got the biggest fright was the lady herself, who said: ‘Oh, oh, I’ve got the Premier here to help me’.”

That woman was marriage celebrant Rosemary Arnold, who spoke of her surreal experience to News Corp.

“I looked out expecting to be dead but the pearly gates were shut. Instead Denis was there and not St Peter,” Ms Arnold told the Herald Sun. 

In the interview, Ms Arnold said Dr Napthine comforted her and climbed into the back of her hatchback among broken wine bottles to help hoist her out on a spinal board.

“Denis climbed into the back in the mess and he must’ve got his clothes (dirty), it’s a wonder he’s not cut. 

“He held my head and pulled me out of the back of the car with the ambos,” the 80-year-old said.

“I was in the best of hands.

“He’s just an incredible man. The joke is he’s a horse doctor but I was glad of any doctor at all. As a person he is very genuine and sympathetic. He emits empathy.”

Leading Senior Constable Glen McDuff, from Port Fairy police, said the Premier offered “great comfort” to Ms Arnold, who was trapped in her car. 

“He was driving past and noticed the accident and was the first person to pull over and offer assistance,” he said. 

“When I arrived a few minutes later he was comforting her and talking to her. 

“He waited until she had been cut from the car, helping the paramedics, and made sure she was safely in the ambulance before he left.” 

Leading Senior Constable McDuff said it was the sort of thing that happened in Port Fairy all the time.

“People are always happy to help out, this time it just happened to be the Premier,” he said. “We see him regularly around town, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise to see him out there.” Ms Arnold was taken to Warrnambool Base Hospital with minor injuries. 

Dr Napthine praised the emergency workers involved in the woman’s rescue.

“They were good professional ambulance officers like our paramedics across Victoria, doing a terrific job.”

The incident brought back memories from January this year when Dr Napthine, a vet, was on hand to assist an injured horse after a horse float had upturned on the Western Ring Road near Melbourne.

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