Hilton victim ‘saw the glass half full’

2013-11-05 00:00

DANIELLE Schoeman’s parents yesterday related how their frantic search for their daughter ended in tragedy in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Her mother, Vanessa Schoeman, said once they had found the scene of the accident in which Danielle (21) died, she and her husband, Andrew stayed with their daughter for three hours until she was declared dead.

Danielle died after the car she was travelling in plunged off a bridge down onto a railway line from the road behind the Hilton Rotunda.

Vanessa Schoeman said that at about 4.50 am on Saturday, Danielle’s boyfriend Robert Williams Jnr, phoned them to tell them that they had been in an accident. The frantically worried parents set about trying to locate where the wreckage of the car was.

Vanessa paid tribute to her daughter’s passion for life and said she “always saw the glass half full”.

“She also had an awesome smile,” she said, adding that this was what she would miss most about her daughter.

“We remained with her until the paramedics declared her dead, which was for about three hours,” she said.

Schoeman described her daughter, who was known to most of her friends and family as Dee, as someone who lived a full life.

“She was a dynamic and passionate individual by nature and nothing was unachievable in her eyes,” she said.

She said Danielle enjoyed family life and showed great concern for those less fortunate than her. “Dee was very well read and enjoyed all types of music. She was studying psychology and law and was a waitron part time at Frankies,” she said.

Her friend Jason Elkington, also known as DJ Jay to night club revellers, said they met Robert and Danielle about six months ago after she had been to America.

“She was a waitress at Frankies and I deejay there so that is how I got to know her and Robbie, who is a barman there,” he said.

Elkington said she was fun loving and a very outgoing person who was happy all the time.

“We were together at the Halloween party and we were going to sleep at Dannie and Robbie’s place after the party, but they left earlier than us,” he said.

He said while they were in the car ready to leave the party, they got a call from Robbie, telling them they had been involved in an accident, but he could not tell them where exactly he was.

“So we drove around for an hour looking for them and as soon as we spotted their car down by the bridge where it had plunged, we phoned the paramedics and they followed us to where the accident had occurred behind Rotunda,” said Elkington.

He said they tried to keep Robbie calm because he was scared when they could not find them.

He described the rescue as “dramatic” because the bridge they had plunged off was high and the rescue was difficult. He described his anguish at seeing his friend in pain. “I could only watch as there was nothing I could do,” he said.

Elkington said it was painful for all of them because they were very close to both of them.

“I hope that Dannie is in a safe place in heaven and all her friends will miss her dearly and we wish Robbie a speedy recovery,” he said.

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