In 2008 Carl was touring the USA as lead singer of  The Guess Who  but there were personal issues troubling Carl. The Guess Who gave Carl time off to visit his family who had gone to Australia. Over the next two weeks Carl spent time in rural Victoria Australia but things only got worse. Troubled by issues that were unravelling Carl was tired, stressed and running late for dinner outside Melbourne. He finally turned off the freeway and he headed onto a dark country road. For a brief few minutes Carl forgot, in Australia they drive on the other side of the road, the left. Thirty years of driving on the right hand side in North America was his "auto-pilot" go to. He collided head on at high speed into an oncoming driver who fortunately was in a large 4WD, Carl was in a small rental car. The other driver attempted to avoid Carl's rental car coming head on and his car went over the top of Carl's vehicle crushing the rental car down on him. Miraculously the first few people on the scene had medical training. Within minutes medical help was called in. The other driver was thrown from his vehicle and suffered lacerations to his head and a broken ankle. It took an hour and forty-five minutes to extract Carl who was barely clinging to life. This incredible work was carried out by volunteers from the Ballan CFA (Country Fire Association) led by Ian Ireland.  Ian radioed in local paramedics and specialists from Melbourne. The police at the scene asked paramedics "what are his chances?" the answer came: "no hope for this guy". Yet the dedicated teams and volunteers stuck to their mission to do their very best to save Carl. Broken, yet somehow still alive, Carl was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where surgical teams worked through the night; first a 17 hour round of surgery then a 19 hour round of operations to save his life and limbs. The prognosis was that when Carl awoke from his coma he would likely be quadriplegic, may have brain damage, possibly be blind and may still lose his left leg. Now he was in his coma . The rest was up to Carl...



2008 6pm news

List of injuries.

Head trauma

Crushed right eye

Broken right orbital bone

Face lacerations

Cracked C7 vertebra

Collapsed and bruised lungs

Liver lacerations

Internal bruising

Dislocated and shattered right forearm

Exposed fractures

Missing flesh and bone right arm

Multiple deep lacerations to upper arm

Multiple fractures right thigh

Multiple fractures left knee

Exposed fractures left shin

Missing bone and flesh both legs

Lengthy deep gashes to both legs

Multiple broken fingers & toes

Comatose for 10 days

Post traumatic stress syndrome

Traumatic Brain Injury.

2010 reunion
Ian Ireland.jpg

Ian Ireland, Ballan CFA