Brave teen, 13, saved mums life after car skidded and plunged 160ft off cliff

A young teen managed to save her mum's life after her car skidded and fell 160ft off a cliff edge.

Trinity Bennett, 13 at the time, watched helplessly as her mother's car plunged over the side and careered down a 50m (160ft) embankment.

The calmness and courage that she exhibited next means that she is now one of 48 people to receive an Australian Bravery Decoration this year.

Now 17, Trinity said: "It felt like it was an action movie unravelling right in front of me."

Days of rain beforehand had softened the ground near the town of Buchan, Victoria, where Trinity and her mother Shannon were driving in October 2017.

Shannon attempted to turn the car around so that her daughter could explore a lookout, putting the weight of the car on the side of the road as she did so.

The earth under the tyres crumbled away and the car edged slowly towards the perilous drop.

Whilst braking in her panic, Shannon soon dropped off the edge, luckily having told Trinity to get out of the car beforehand.

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At this point, when most of us would fall to pieces, Trinity kept her cool.

She said: "I didn't want to panic. Something in my head was telling me: 'She's fine', I just felt that mum would still be OK."

Trinity was on the phone to the triple zero operator as the car fell, and stayed on the line giving vital information until the emergency services arrived.

She told the operator that "I'm not good with heights or anything like that" but still managed to carefully traverse down the embankment to the upturned car.

"She saved my life," Shannon said.

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The ambulance, police and fire services were quickly on hand, aided by the State Emergency Service who happened to be training nearby.

The recipients of a Australian Bravery Decoration for 2021 were named on Tuesday, with Trinity receiving a Commendation for Brave Conduct.

Governor-General David Hurley said: "In a dangerous situation each recipient was brave, selfless and put their own safety at risk to help someone else."

Trinity's bravery was also recognised in 2018 when she was named a Junior Triple Zero Hero by the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority.

After the incident Shannon was critically injured and spent two weeks in a Melbourne hospital having been rushed there by helicopter.

The fall had torn her aorta and damaged an arm so badly it was nearly amputated.

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