The 15th November was our daughter, Charlize’s 6th anniversary since we lost her. The day before her twin sister Lucia turned six.
The 15th was also the day of my Granny’s funeral. The reason we had driven ten hours south to Sydney, to be with our family.
A few weeks prior to the accident with Lucia about to turn six we moved her into a booster seat using a normal seat belt. The night before we left for our big drive I decided she really was too little for that seat and I’d feel more comfortable with her back in her ‘baby seat’. I must’ve known.
On the morning of the 15th I woke up unwell with a tummy bug. I went to emergency to get an injection to stop the vomiting as there was no way I was missing my darling Granny’s funeral.
The funeral was beautiful. By the time we got to the burial my injections were starting to wear off and I was feeling quite unwell again.
When we were at the wake I could hardly stand up so we decided to leave early and head back to my parents to rest before our long drive home the following day.
I reclined my chair and reminded Saxon, my husband, to fill up with fuel. I closed my eyes and was drifting off to sleep.
Orlando (11years old) was in the middle row and the girls, Indiana (7) and Lucia (6) in the rear row of our Kia Carnival.
We were on quite a busy Sydney Rd not far from turning into the highway. Two cars in front indicated to turn.
We were stopped.
I awoke to a nightmare. The noise of our children screaming, multiple impacts (we think four), I saw saxon falling towards me from above and then he was thrown back towards the driver window where his head hit. The pain was excruciating. I kept screaming for it to stop but I actually didn’t know what had happened.
When it did stop I landed flat on my back. Air bags were deploying all over the car. I heard saxon yelling at us to unclick and get out of the car quickly.
My door was the only one that could be opened. I somehow got out and realised there was a truck in our boot practically touching the girls car seats.
I started screaming and crying. A large truck had hit us travelling at around 80kms. He had not braked and there were no skid marks. Our car had actually nearly rolled onto the passenger side and then rectified itself. We have no idea how it didn’t roll.
Saxon was trying to get the kids out of the obstacle course which was now our car. Our fuel tank had ruptured and there was smoke coming from the car. A stranger smashed Lucia’s window and tried to get her out. She thought he was trying to steal her from us.
We later found out that the wonderful man who did this was quite distressed at hearing our children screaming and crying hysterically inside our car. He just wanted to get them out safely.
Somehow Saxon got all the kids and himself out. The children were hysterical screaming and crying ‘I don’t want to die. Are we all going to die’. I noticed Saxon was in bad shape and somehow managed to make a call to my family at the wake up the road. Sometime later my brother, his girlfriend, my sister, parents and Nanna got to us.
There were police and fire rescue everywhere but the ambulances couldn’t get through the traffic for sometime.
My Mum went with our girls to Westmead Children’s Hospital. By some miracle Orlando was physically unharmed.
The girls were discharged with sore necks, glass cuts and seatbelt burns last night.
Saxon and I were discharged this afternoon. Saxon has a broken wrist amongst other injuries. We are battered and bruised but extremely happy to be here telling this story.
We were asked to see our car today to collect our personal belongings. I went into shock again after seeing it. The police, rescue, ambo’s, tow truck drivers, trauma teams told us we were all lucky to be alive. They said because our car was so solid and the kids were all restrained correctly we can tell our story. Our girls were found basically facing the roof as the rear of our car is gone.
Please check your kids car seats, make sure the straps are not twisted and they fit your child properly. Do not allow your child to sit in the front unless there’s no alternative.
Thank you to all our families who came and spent hours at the hospital with us all, who phone and check on us constantly, my dear friend Michelle who came and held my hand which was exactly what I needed. Thanks to all our friends for your messages, prayers and love. To our family at the wake who I can only assume had no idea what was going on. Thank you to our Northern Rivers Village who have sent so much love and prayers and have gathered around to welcome us home this weekend.
To our beautiful brave children. We can’t hug you enough.
We love you all and are most grateful to be here.
….and buy a Kia Carnival that car is amazing!
Update: It’s now been over three weeks since the accident and injuries have shown their face. Each of us suffered whiplash of some extent and head trauma. The specialists told us our bodies and brains were given a good shake in the accident. We are looking forward to the day we don’t wake up or go to bed with a headache. Our darling Indiana has a spinal injury. She has trauma to her head and spine that will affect her for the rest of her life. We are terribly grateful we all survived and our guardian angels kept us safe that day.