Lucky to live after air crash

2010-11-22 00:00

A 44-YEAR-OLD man and his 16-year-old son are lucky to be alive after the microlight aircraft they were flying had an engine failure, resulting in a crash in Estcourt at the weekend.

The pair were rescued from the wreckage by the Estcourt emergency management services after their crash-landing on a farm on Saturday morning.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday from St Anne’s Netcare hospital, in Pietermaritzburg, Karin Weavill said her husband Sean and son Russell were moving the microlight from Harrismith to Mooi River where the family has just relocated.

The microlight’s engine cut out, which resulted in the crash-landing at around 8 am on Saturday.

Weavill said the pair had been waiting for good weather and took advantage of what was going to be a sweltering Saturday to make their journey.

“They left early in the morning. They called me before setting out,” said Weavill.

Fritz Erasmus, a paramedic with Nsele Private Emergency Service, an affiliate of Netcare911, said they were called around 9 am about a microlight which had crashed after reportedly striking an electricity pylon.

Erasmus and his team helped to stabilise the pair at the Estcourt provincial hospital.

“They were in a critical condition, but we managed to stabilise them. The dad had to be airlifted to hospital by a Netcare aeromedical helicopter and the son went by ambulance.”

Weavill said her husband suffered a punctured right lung and seven broken ribs, while her son had burn wounds and concussion.

Her husband was still at the Intensive Care Unit at St Anne’s when The Witness called her. The son had already been discharged.

“It is a very stressful time for our family but we it is a miracle that they are alive. I’m very grateful,” said Weavill.

“Sean is stable, but his lung needs time to heal and we are just praying that he doesn’t have any infections because that will complicate things,” she added.

Her son, who is a grade 10 pupil at Treverton College, was to have written exams today, but he has been excused by the school until he is fully recovered.

Weavill’s husband is an engineer for Nestle.

Netcare 911’s Jeff Wicks described the assistance of Nsele Private Emergency Services in stabilising the two patients as pivotal in their potential positive outcome.

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