A 34-YEAR-old man cheated death early on Thursday after his ute careered off the Bruce Hwy, ploughing into a concrete stormwater culvert.
Officer-in-charge of Gladstone ambulance station Ron Gibson said the man had had a massive slice of luck to escape with the injuries he had.
"He's got head injuries, he's got facial fractures including the nose and it looks like he may have a fracture to the back of the skull and he's got a bit of a severe laceration to the left knee," Mr Gibson said.
"He's talking to us and that sort of stuff so he's responding to us, so yeah, he's extremely lucky."
Responding to the crash at 4.30am, Gladstone Fire and Rescue Service station officer Wayne Parry praised the work of everyone involved, particularly the paramedics, during the drawn-out extrication of the driver.
"We identified that it was going to be a long, drawn-out extrication, due to the damage of the vehicle and the fact that it was precariously placed," Mr Parry said.
The driver is in a stable condition in Rockhampton Base Hospital after being airlifted from the scene.