A MUM of three has escaped without a scratch after her new car was slammed into by a stolen four-wheel-drive at high speed.
Marcia Saliba was heading home from work on Borella Road about 11.50pm on Thursday.
She noticed a white 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the top of Electra Street, which drove at high speed downhill towards her.
Despite attempts to avoid the car, which had been stolen from Wodonga about 20 minutes earlier, the Jeep slammed into the side of her Toyota Landcruiser.
The impact caused the Toyota to roll several times, stopping on its side, and the Jeep slammed into a fence on Electra Street.
The driver fled.
Police believe the man driving the stolen Jeep was the only occupant but there were reports someone may have run out of the passenger side of the car.
Ms Saliba and her husband Wassim had bought the Landcruiser only four months earlier at a cost of $120,000.
The stolen Jeep was worth about $50,000, which could put the damage bill at up to $170,000.
“It still feels like it didn’t happen – it’s the sort of thing you see in the movies with cars rolling over,” she said.
“It just doesn’t feel real.
“Luckily I was in a big car that could take the hit and roll a few times.
“My husband was in front of me in a much smaller and older car.”
Mr Saliba said it was a “blessing” that no-one was killed or seriously injured.
He ran over to the vehicle to help his wife after the crash, and pulled open a sunroof to try to free her from the wrecked car.
“The Landcruiser has very bright lights,” Mr Saliba said.
“I was driving 150 metres ahead before the crash and I could see her driving along.
“Two seconds later, I couldn't see the lights, I could just see the car rolling and the lights going everywhere.”
He said his focus was on his ensuring his wife was safe, and he had only found out later the driver had fled. But he said if he had known his wife was safe, he would have instead chased after the other driver.
“The stolen car was a modern car – there's no way they could break in unless the keys were in the car, or easily accessible,” Mr Saliba said. “People need to lock their cars.”
Albury Acting Inspector Gary Lewis said the driver fled after smashing the car.
“The driver of that stolen vehicle has gotten out and fled on foot,” he said. “Police attended a short time later and both cars were towed.”
Officers were still searching for the man on Friday.
The stolen Jeep was forensically examined.
Acting Sergeant Lewis urged anyone with information to call (02) 6023 9299.