Horror go-karting accident leaves Durban teen 'immobile' below her waist

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A 15-year-old girl was injured in a go-karting incident in Durban.
A 15-year-old girl was injured in a go-karting incident in Durban.
Facebook/ Action Karting Gateway
  • A Durban teen was involved in a go-karting incident at Gateway Theatre of Shopping. 
  • Kristen Govender was on the track at Action Karting when her hair became stuck in the axle of the kart. 
  • Govender is in the intensive care unit of a Durban hospital and is "immobile" from the waist down. 

A 15-year-old girl was involved in a horror go-karting accident at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in the last week of December. 

Kristen Govender was enjoying a day out with her aunt, uncle and brother at Action Karting in Umhlanga when her hair became tangled in the axle of a go-kart while she was on the track.

She sustained a partially torn scalp, a torn aorta, an aneurysm and spinal injuries. Govender is in the intensive care unit (ICU) at a Durban hospital and has required several stitches. 

"[She has] no mobility from her waist down. She's in a lot of pain," said Kristen's father, Vernon Govender. 

Vernon said he would consider what action to take against the company after his daughter's recovery. He said she is only showing slight signs of recovery.

He said:

My main focus now is actually my daughter and her well-being. For now, I just need to be there for her.

According to Vernon, Action Karting and mall representatives called him twice to offer their sympathy but never offered any form of accountability.

"Gateway confirms an incident took place at the Action Karting establishment at the centre," said Senusha Ramnath, marketing assistant at Excellerate Brand Management, which represents the shopping centre.  

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"A representative from centre management has been in contact with her father since the day after the incident. Members of our team have also met with family members at the centre's management office.  

"To note, the centre's security responded immediately after being made aware of the incident and proceeded to call emergency services. The centre's security supervisor was in attendance at the scene until the ambulance left the centre," she added.

Kristen's uncle, Ruben Govender, said the go-karts at Action Karting Gateway may lack some safety measures because there have allegedly been similar incidents at the branch. 

Ruben added:

This intelligent, loving child with big dreams now lies immobile in [the] ICU in hospital.

Action Karting has not yet responded to questions about the incident.

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