Hunter’s family seek justice

2013-10-23 00:00

AN Empangeni couple will have to face another festive season without closure after a terrible accident that snatched their teenage daughter away in 2011.

Speaking to The Witness, Wendy Hunter described her daughter as a passionate young dancer who could not walk down the passage in their Empangeni home without moving like a dancer.

Carmen Hunter was one of the three people killed in an accident caused by Durban lawyer Koobashan Naicker on Durban’s Athlone Bridge in March 2011. She was travelling on a scooter and was the first to be hit by the out-of-control car, before it hit the car in which Gillian Bell and son Connor (12) were travelling. Both were also killed.

Wendy said yesterday their family is still devastated. “Our family have gone more than two years without justice for our daughter. We are a very close-knit family and her death has left us all shattered.

“The court case has left us disillusioned as Naicker will be free to be at home with his family whilst we will never have Carmen back. He should not be allowed to walk free and all we want is for justice to be served.”

Carmen’s father Mike added: “Whatever the outcome of the sentence it will not fill the void left in our lives. Closure will be difficult, but once the sentencing has been finalised there will be less emotional stress for the families involved.”

Carmen, who was only 19 years old at the time of her death, had dreams of becoming a dance teacher abroad, said Wendy. She was Connor’s dance teacher.

“Carmen graduated from St Catherine’s High School in 2009 and decided to pursue her love for dance. Soon after she matriculated, Carmen left Empangeni to join the Dance Direction International dance studio in Durban, where she resided.

“Carmen had begun teaching dance at the studio as well as helping out with other tasks around the studio whilst she completed her qualifications to be a dance teacher.”

Wendy said her daughter’s dream was to eventually travel to the United Kingdom to pursue her passion and love for dance, but her dreams were cut short by a drunk driver. On the morning of the accident, Carmen had attended a meeting as she was going to start teaching dance to children at an underprivileged pre-school.

• With the festive season fast approaching, an increase in drunken driving accidents is likely. However, Charlotte Sullivan from the South Africans Against Drunk Driving says that even in normal times, too many are killed on the roads because of alcohol.

“We are losing approximately 45 people every day on South African roads and 65% of these crashes are due to alcohol.

“I certainly don’t believe that crashes differ much over the festive season — all year round South Africans are speeding, driving recklessly and drunk driving. All that happens over December is that the volume of traffic is increased hugely as people go on holiday,” said Sullivan.

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