Alleged drunk driver drives into vehicle killing 4 year old child in booster seat

Yesterday was the World Day of Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims across the Globe. Apart from sharing information on the significance of this day on the Arrive Alive road safety website, I also decided to share some thoughts on the debate whether we should use photos of horror accident scenes in road safety Campaigns. It was over the weekend that I received an accident report pertaining to the death of a 4-year old. The death of a child is always especially tragic, and even more so when the parents have done their part and used the necessary child restraints, booster seats and seatbelts.

Earlier today I read a story by a journalist I have previously spoken with, Greame Hosken, and was devastated to find that this accident appears to have been caused by an alleged drunk driver!

I would like to quote:

“A four-year-old girl was killed when an alleged drunk driver crashed into her mother’s car.

Jessie le Roux died early on Saturday as she lay asleep in a booster chair while her mother drove the family home. Her mother and grandmother were seriously injured.

The three are believed to have been at a friend’s home for dinner when a 20-year-old man, thought to be a student at a local university, allegedly skipped a traffic light and crashed into their vehicle in Annlin.

Jessie died moments after the bakkie collided at high speed into the right-hand side of the family’s car on the corner of Elizabet and Zambesi Drive.

The impact severely damaged the car, crumpling the right back passenger door, which was torn in several places.

The bakkie had major damage with one of its wheels nearly sheared off its axle by the impact.

Emergency personnel on Sunday night described the accident as horrific.

“It is a miracle that more people were not killed in the crash. I hate to think what speed the bakkie driver was travelling at when he collided with the family,” said a fireman.

Netcare 911 spokesman Jeff Wicks said the young child died on the scene, of extensive injuries.

“The part in the car where the little girl was sitting bore the brunt of the impact of the collision,” he said.

The child’s mother and grandmother, who suffered head and spinal injuries and severe lacerations, were taken to Netcare’s Montana Hospital where they are both reported to be in a serious condition.

“It was only after they were brought to the hospital that they were told of the little girl’s death,” he said, when asked if Jessie’s mother knew of her daughter’s death.

Wicks said the bakkie driver was not injured in the collision.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Ben Strydom said the bakkie driver, who was held in custody over the weekend, would appear in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of drunk driving and culpable homicide. – Pretoria News

[Photos Netcare911]

We would like to urge all motorists to avoid the urge to drive when they have had a drink!

A very important aspect to keep in mind is always “How much is too much to drink before I drive?”

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