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Jessica Rowe ‘cannot quite believe’ she almost died in car explosion


Jessica Rowe has spoken out about her terrifying ordeal after her car caught fire while she was driving along a busy Sydney road with her daughter on Thursday.

Appearing on Studio 10 on Friday, the TV presenter described the blaze as ‘full on’, but said she was thankful both she and her 14-year-old daughter, Allegra, emerged from the wreckage ‘absolutely fine, safe and sound’.

Jessica, 50, explained that she was driving up a hill after picking Allegra up from school when her car ‘really started to slow down’.

Frightening: Jessica Rowe has spoken out about her terrifying ordeal after her car caught fire while she was driving along a busy Sydney road with her daughter on Thursday

‘All this smoke started pouring out of the bonnet and then was coming through the car, and it smelt like smoke, and I was thinking, “Oh, my God!” [I was] in a little bit of shock really, thinking, “What is happening?”‘ she recounted. 

Jessica praised a quick-thinking school bus driver on the opposite side of the road, who pulled over and yelled at her and her daughter to get out of the vehicle.

She said the bus driver then helped get Allegra’s school bag and hat out out of the car, before clearing onlookers away from the burning vehicle.

Up in flames: The TV presenter described the blaze as 'full on', but said she was thankful both she and her daughter Allegra emerged from the wreckage 'absolutely fine, safe and sound'

Up in flames: The TV presenter described the blaze as ‘full on’, but said she was thankful both she and her daughter Allegra emerged from the wreckage ‘absolutely fine, safe and sound’

‘I still cannot quite believe it,’ Jessica said of the ordeal.

She added said that while Allegra was doing ‘okay’ now, she was ‘very upset’ at the time and the horrifying incident ‘really gave her such a fright’.

She revealed a ‘hysterical’ Allegra had called her father, Nine News anchor Peter Overton, after the explosion as he was preparing to go on TV. 

Scary: 'All this smoke started pouring out of the bonnet and was coming through the car, and it smelt like smoke, and I was thinking, "Oh my God... what is happening?"' she recounted

Scary: ‘All this smoke started pouring out of the bonnet and was coming through the car, and it smelt like smoke, and I was thinking, “Oh my God… what is happening?”‘ she recounted

The 54-year-old newsman was ‘so worried about her and so concerned’ that he immediately left work and went straight home to be with his family.

‘He couldn’t believe it. I think for all of us, we were like, “What? What do you mean the car’s on fire?”‘ she said.

‘Everyone at work could see that I was absolutely traumatised when I saw my 14-year-old on FaceTime absolutely inconsolable,’ Peter told 2GB on Thursday.   

How it happened: Jessica, 50, explained that she was driving up a hill after picking Allegra up from school when her car 'really started to slow down'

How it happened: Jessica, 50, explained that she was driving up a hill after picking Allegra up from school when her car ‘really started to slow down’

Jessica admitted she had no idea what caused the blaze, and claimed that up until the fire it had been a ‘really good, reliable car’.

Her manager told Daily Mail Australia on Friday: ‘The car is a write-off and [the] cause is a mystery at this stage.’

The government issued a recall on certain Volvo models in January 2020, including the XC60, which was the car Jessica was driving at the time.

Heroic: The former Studio 10 host praised a quick-thinking school bus driver on the opposite side of the road, who pulled over and yelled at her and her daughter to get out

Heroic: The former Studio 10 host praised a quick-thinking school bus driver on the opposite side of the road, who pulled over and yelled at her and her daughter to get out

According to a report by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission last year, there was a problem with the car’s engine valve.

‘If the engine intake manifold melts or deforms, there may be unusual engine operation, activation of the engine malfunction indication light, engine interruption or lack of power, or the possibility of a localised engine bay fire,’ the ACCC reported.

In addition to Allegra, Jessica and Peter, who married in 2004, are also parents to an 11-year-old daughter, Giselle.

Safe and sound: Jessica posted about the terrifying ordeal on Instagram on Thursday night, sharing a photo of herself and Allegra at home

Safe and sound: Jessica posted about the terrifying ordeal on Instagram on Thursday night, sharing a photo of herself and Allegra at home

Jessica posted about the terrifying ordeal on Instagram on Thursday night, sharing a photo of herself and Allegra at home. 

‘We’re safe & sound! Thank you for all of your kindness and love,’ she wrote. 

‘Thank you to the thoughtful, fast thinking and kind school bus driver Mev who got us out of the car, called the fire brigade, cleared the road and then stayed to drive us home. 

Terrifying: She said a 'hysterical' Allegra called her dad, Channel Nine news anchor Peter Overton (left), who was preparing to go on TV

Terrifying: She said a ‘hysterical’ Allegra called her dad, Channel Nine news anchor Peter Overton (left), who was preparing to go on TV

‘Thank you to the police & paramedics who are angels. And the tow truck driver! And the mums & dads who stopped to help. We love you.’

The incident occurred on New South Head Road in Rose Bay, with dramatic footage posted online by onlookers showing the black vehicle engulfed by flames.

The car was on fire for a short period of time before it was extinguished by firefighters, and the wreckage was later towed away.   

Family time: In addition to Allegra, Jessica and Peter, who married in 2004, are also parents to an 11-year-old daughter, Giselle (left)

Family time: In addition to Allegra, Jessica and Peter, who married in 2004, are also parents to an 11-year-old daughter, Giselle (left)



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