Matric in coma after blue light crash
Louise Ferreira, Beeld
Johannesburg - A matric pupil is in a coma and has probably sustained brain damage after being knocked down - allegedly by the official vehicle of a Gauteng MEC over the weekend.
Thomas Ferreira, 18, of Krugersdorp was on his way to his girlfriend’s home in Randfontein on his motorbike when he was apparently hit by an official vehicle of Local Government and Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi. The vehicle was a white BMW X5.
Thomas is in a critical condition in the ICU of the Krugersdorp Hospital. He has a fractured arm and leg, several facial fractures, and swelling and haemorrhaging of the brain.
His parents, Paul and Priscilla Ferreira, said on Monday he is in a coma and on a ventilator. "The hospital phoned this morning [Monday] to say they were going to perform an operation to insert a monitor in his brain and relieve the pressure," Ferreira said.
"After the operation the doctor phoned to say it looks as if there is serious brain damage."
Peet and Lizanne van Wyk were also on their way to Randfontein when they saw the accident take place.
"We were in the turning lane and there was a taxi on our left. The guy in the BMW overtook the taxi on the left on the yellow line. He jumped the red robot," said Lizanne van Wyk.
"He had no sirens, but did have flashing blue lights. Then I just heard a crash.
"We wanted to turn when I shouted to my husband to stop, because the guy had knocked down a child on a motorcycle," she said.
According to Van Wyk, the man "did not even look at the child".
"He got out and looked to see what the damage was to his car."
The Van Wyks then phoned an ambulance. They said the driver was by himself in the vehicle and was not part of a convoy.
It was reported earlier that Mmemezi was also in the vehicle. But Victor Moreriane, Mmemezi's spokesperson, said that according to police at the scene that was not the case.
The driver was also admitted to hospital. He is believed to be undergoing treatment for shock and for neck and back injuries.
Moreriane said the circumstances leading to the accident cannot be confirmed until the driver has been discharged and has made a statement.
For the same reason he also cannot say why the driver apparently had the blue lights on, since the MEC was not in the vehicle.
Thomas' girlfriend, Chanel Kloppers, 16, a Grade 11 pupil, said he was on his way to her home so she could help him study.
"We usually give him about 45 minutes to get to us, but this time he was taking much longer. I tried to phone him, but his phone was off.
"I then phoned his mother on my mother's phone and just heard, 'Annemarie, Thomas was in a very serious accident'."
Chanel's mother, Annemarie van Wyk, said they could not get through to the Ferreiras again. They then phoned the Krugersdorp Hospital, where they heard he had been admitted.
"On the way to the hospital we were driving past the scene of the accident and didn't even think that was it," said Chanel.
"Then we saw the orange of his motorbike…"