Blue light victim 'will never be the same'

2015-01-29 15:07
Paul Ferreira, father of Thomas Ferreira, is seen with other family members during the sentencing of blue light driver Joseph Motsamai Semitjie at the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Paul Ferreira, father of Thomas Ferreira, is seen with other family members during the sentencing of blue light driver Joseph Motsamai Semitjie at the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The family of Thomas Ferreira, who was seriously injured after being knocked off his bicycle by a blue light driver, say he will never be the same again, Netwerk24 reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, blue light driver Joseph Motsamai Semitjie was sentenced to five years in prison for "destroying" young Ferreira's life.

The former driver of Gauteng MEC Humphrey Mmemezi hit Ferreira while going through a red traffic light in November 2011. He was found guilty of reckless and negligent driving on 3 December.

Head injuries

Ferreira was 18 at the time of the accident. He suffered serious head injuries and was in a coma for weeks.

In September last year, the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court heard that Ferreira will not recover any further from his injuries.

A neurologist testified that "there will be no further meaningful recovery", explaining that the brain has a limited period to recover. He also testified that Ferreira would struggle to find a job or live on his own. He is impulsive and has mood swings, so would also struggle to have a relationship, according to the neurologist.

Ferreira's parents told Netwerk24 that he no longer shows emotion, which is difficult for them to deal with. According to his mother, Thomas does not show love, empathy or gratitude. He does not cry or display any of the personality traits he had before the accident. He is a different person, she said.

Before the accident, he was full of energy, and enjoyed abseiling, rock climbing and cycling, she added.

Ferreira's sister, Danielle, told Netwerk24 she and her brother no longer had the same relationship they enjoyed beforehand. He gets jealous when she goes out with friends, as he does not want to sit at home.

The family said outside the court that their lives had been destroyed by the accident. However, they told Netwerk24 that they had forgiven Semitjie, saying hate will not change anything, or return Thomas to the person he was before the accident.


Read more on:    thomas ferreira  |  johannesburg  |  blue light incidents

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