Miracle for Bianca’s family as she opens her eyes after horror crash
Those were the words of Brad Mostert, father of Mia, 11, who regained consciousness in a Durban hospital on Friday after being involved in a horrific car accident last Sunday, allegedly involving a drunk driver.
With the festive season fast approaching, eThekwini metro police spokesperson Parboo Sewpersad warned last night that drunk driving roadblocks would be intensified.
Mia and her mother Bianca, 35, had to be pulled out of the wreckage of their vehicle with the jaws of life, while Bianca’s son, Mark, had been thrown out of the car on impact.
The family said they had been told by police that officers at the scene arrested the driver of the second vehicle on suspicion of drunk driving.
The accident occurred on the corner of Anton Lembede (Smith) and Stalwart Simelane streets (Stanger) early in the morning.
Bianca’s mother and grandmother of the two teens, Glenda Daniell, was in church when she got a call from her husband.
“He just said to me, ‘there’s been an accident’. When I got to the hospital and saw Bianca and my grandchildren – it was devastating, but I have a lot of faith and that’s what’s carrying me.”
Bianca remains in an induced coma, with broken ribs, a collapsed lung, injuries to the top of her spine and a broken leg. Mia suffered head injuries and Mark’s face was badly injured. He underwent plastic surgery this week and was released from hospital.
“Mia opened her eyes slightly today (yesterday). Both her dad and I were there and I asked her if she could hear us, to squeeze our hands. She squeezed both our hands. It’s going to be a long journey ahead.
“We have had such phenomenal support from family and friends, as well as many prayer groups both here and overseas,” said Glenda.
Their family in Australia have also started a GoFundMe online campaign for Bianca and Mia because they are likely to have a long road to recovery.
EThekwini Metro said people suspected of drunk driving would be taken to alcohol centres and “booze buses” to undergo breathalyser tests and be handed over to the SAPS if necessary.
“We have intensified our drunk driving roadblocks, as well as stop and searches,” he said, adding that there were already indications of increased alcohol consumption: 60 arrests were made at roadblocks in one week this month, after 315 had been nabbed last month.
Provincial transport spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said next week MEC Mxolisi Kaunda would launch the festive season safety plan. Ncalane said authorities would clamp down on illegal shebeens, pointing out that 45% of fatalities in drunk driving incidents were pedestrians
Rescue Care operations director Garrith Jamieson, whose paramedics attended the accident scene last Sunday, confirmed the collision occurred at about 7am, with the two vehicles travelling in different directions.
“Our paramedics arrived to find total chaos,” he said, confirming that their advanced life paramedics had worked to stabilise the mother and daughter trapped in the wreckage, while the Durban Fire Department used the jaws of life to free them.
Four occupants of the second vehicle sustained injuries ranging from minor to critical.
“Paramedics have already seen an increased number of car crashes for various reasons including driving under the influence as well as speed,” said Jamieson yesterday.
Caro Smit, founder and director of South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD), said police needed to increase breathalyser tests at accident scenes and roadblocks. She also encouraged the use of evidential breath testing units.
She further called on people to buckle up in cars, saying they were vulnerable to being flung out in a crash.
Police had not confirmed the arrest at time of publication.
Independent On Saturday