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The desperate first words a barely-conscious teenager, 17, uttered to his distressed father who found him bleeding in a ditch following a horror car crash

  • A teenager's parents have spoken out about the courageous fight to find him  
  • Sam Lethbridge was injured in his crashed car for 29 hours before being found
  • Parents hired a helicopter to find him seriously injured on NSW Central Coast
  • Three months on from life-threatening crash, family speak of Sam's fight to live

A father has revealed the first words his son said after he was found bleeding in a ditch following a horrific car crash.

Tony and Lee Lethbridge feared the worst when they hadn't heard from their son, Sam, and couldn't find him after 24 hours.

Sam, 17, spent the night with a bone sticking out of his right leg after crashing his car south of Newcastle in mid-January, leaving his parents on a desperate search to find him alive.

  

A father has revealed the first words his son said after he was found bleeding in a ditch following a horrific car crash

A father has revealed the first words his son said after he was found bleeding in a ditch following a horrific car crash

Tony (left) and Lee Lethbridge feared the worst when they hadn't heard from their son, Sam, (right) and couldn't find him after 24 hours

Tony (left) and Lee Lethbridge feared the worst when they hadn't heard from their son, Sam, (right) and couldn't find him after 24 hours

The young teenager spent the night with a bone sticking out of his right leg after crashing his car south of Newcastle in mid January, leaving his parents desperately searching for him

The young teenager spent the night with a bone sticking out of his right leg after crashing his car south of Newcastle in mid January, leaving his parents desperately searching for him

The distraught father hired a helicopter and found his severely injured son after flying for eight minutes above the notorious Pacific Highway (crash pictured)

The distraught father hired a helicopter and found his severely injured son after flying for eight minutes above the notorious Pacific Highway (crash pictured)

Sam Lethbridge (pictured) was trapped in his crashed car for 29 hours survived and has spoken out about his will to survive

Sam Lethbridge (pictured) was trapped in his crashed car for 29 hours survived and has spoken out about his will to survive

In an interview on Nine's A Current Affair on Monday Mr Lethbridge described the moment he found his barely-conscious son.

'I said 'Yeah, dad's here, mate',' he said. 'I grabbed him and said, 'I found you'.

'The first thing he said was along the lines of, 'I'd love a drink!' … and I thought, 'Well I can't give you a drink mate, because I know you're headed for surgery!'

The distraught father hired the helicopter and found his severely injured son after flying for eight minutes above the notorious Pacific Highway.

Sam was believed to have been driving from Gosford, on the Central Coast, to the Lethbridge family home at Blacksmiths, on Lake Macquarie, when he left the road after 6am on Sunday.

The family came together and pulled off an almighty search three months ago for the young P-plate driver, finding him 20m down a bank at Crangan Bay.

Tony and Lee Lethbridge (pictured together left) feared the worst when they hadn't heard from their son and couldn't find him after 24 hours and thought he was 'in a ditch ... bleeding out'

Tony and Lee Lethbridge (pictured together left) feared the worst when they hadn't heard from their son and couldn't find him after 24 hours and thought he was 'in a ditch … bleeding out'

'No parent ever wants to have to say goodbye to their 17-year-old child,' Ms Lethbridge said.

Sam – who is still recovering from serious injuries – told the Nine Network the last thing he remembered was dropping his friend, Harry, off home to Wyoming, NSW Central Coast.

The teenager had six operations with a number of surgeries each time.

The teenager (left with Mr Lethbridge) had six operations with multiple surgeries each time

The teenager (left with Mr Lethbridge) had six operations with multiple surgeries each time

'No parent ever wants to have to say goodbye to their 17-year-old child,' Ms Lethbridge said

'No parent ever wants to have to say goodbye to their 17-year-old child,' Ms Lethbridge said

The frantic recovery mission required dozens of fire crews, paramedics and police officers to carefully save Sam

The frantic recovery mission required dozens of fire crews, paramedics and police officers to carefully save Sam

The frantic recovery mission required dozens of fire crews, paramedics and police officers to carefully save Sam.

The 17-year-old suffered multiple serious injuries including an open femur fracture – where the bone stuck out of his thigh about 10cm – intracranial haemorrhages and dislocated elbow.

'It could have been a lot, lot worse,' Mr Lethbridge previously told Celebrity Rave Australia.

'If the car didn't land on its wheels we'd have been all sorts of strife.

'Just so many things that went the right way for us.'  

Sam was believed to have been driving from Gosford, on the Central Coast, to the Lethbridge family home at Blacksmiths, on Lake Macquarie, when he left the road after 6am on Sunday

Sam was believed to have been driving from Gosford, on the Central Coast, to the Lethbridge family home at Blacksmiths, on Lake Macquarie, when he left the road after 6am on Sunday

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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