Only one survived

By Drum Digital
03 November 2011

Please, God, let me not be the only one left,” 29-year-old Khanyisa Stengile prayed as she lay in pain next to the road.

She was later to find that indeed she was the only survivor – her five fellow runners had been knocked down and killed while on one of their morning runs training for next year’s Comrades Marathon.

It happened as fast as lightning, Khanyisa recalls as she lies in her hospital bed. She’s weak and still coming to terms with her loss, but she heard a noise that sounded like screeching brakes or a loud bang that led her to instinctively dive out of the way.

A large, gold-coloured SUV swept past her.

At first Khanyisa thought she had simply fallen. She had no idea that the car had hit her. She felt all over her body to check for injuries. When she could move both arms, she checked her upper body for blood. Nothing.

But when she looked down at her left leg she saw it was swollen and a bone jutted out just above her ankle. Her foot pointed inwards at an awkward angle. She lifted her leg and the foot remained lifeless.

“That’s when I started screaming and crying. I realised that the car had hit me,” she says softly.

We speak to her a few days after she and her five running partners were knocked over just before 6 am in Midrand by a man in a Mercedes-Benz ML500. Khanyisa is the only survivor the accident.

She had been running at the back of the group and initially thought she was the only one who was hit as she lay on the ground and couldn’t see her running mates. Perhaps they hadn’t noticed her lying at the side of the road, she thought.

“I panicked. I was afraid they wouldn’t come back for me,” she says sadly.

But then she noticed her friends’ hats, car keys and takkies strewn across the road.

Read the full article in DRUM, 10 November 2011.

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