Teenager reveals life and death battle after crash
A GYMPIE teen who came close to losing her life when she was struck by a car and thrown metres in the air on the Bruce Hwy, has spoken out about her ordeal, 12 months on.
Kintara Andrews was 16-years-old on December 11, last year, when she tried to cross a busy intersection outside Pizza Hut, on the corner of the highway and Excelsior Rd.
Returning from a lunch break with friends and heading towards the Maisie Kaufmann's Learning Centre behind Hungry Jack's, Kintara weaved between two lanes of cars stopped at a red light.
As she stepped into the third turning lane, she was struck by a Hilux she did not see coming and was flung metres in the air.
Moments later, Kintara was lying on the road, with a broken femur, split liver, internal bleeding and a spilt pelvis.
Kintara remembers little of the accident, except "being in heaps of pain" and wanting to tell her mum.
But her mother, Natasha Bryce-Thompson, remembers the sickening moment, after being called to the Gympie hospital, that she was told her daughter's condition was "touch and go".
Now her mother is calling for a change to the intersection to prevent further accidents.
"I have seen people - adults and kids still crossing there. It's inevitable that someone will be hit again," she said.
"I would hate for any other family to go through that. As well as the driver - it affects two families."
Rushed to Nambour, Kintara spent five days in an induced coma, while the blood build-up was cleared and an external fixator was attached to her hips - acting as a framework to hold her fractured pelvis in place.
Her gathering family was told she wouldn't wake up for weeks.
"It's really scary, you're just waiting to hear everyday if something changes," her mother said.
The moment of relief came five days later when Kintara woke, complete with a feisty thirst for water, Mrs Bryce-Thompson said.
"It was just such a happy moment."
While the two month hospital recovery was long and painful, including the fitting of a titanium rod running from knee to hip, Kintara's healing was helped along with the love and care of the Gympie Hospital nursing staff.
She learnt to walk again and within a month of her release was skateboarding and riding a bike again.
But the family does not want their daughter's ordeal to be in vain, particularly after she was judged for not using a crossing.
"She's aware she made a mistake, but that doesn't mean she deserves this for it," her sister Emma Bryce said.
Despite the existence of a crossing further up the highway between McDonald's and Centro, Kintara's mother said people are in the habit of going from A to B as quickly as they can.
She is urging for either a crossing or a fence to put up as a deterrent alongside the highway, where Kintara was hit.
When the Department of Main Roads was contacted, they could not give details about the intersection, but provided a statement.
"The department reviews all serious traffic incidents to ensure the safety of road users and road network.
"Any concerns the public raises - including those affected by an accident - are taken seriously by the department," a spokesperson said.
Kintara, who always uses a crossing now - no matter how far it is, wants to get the message out for everyone to do the same.
She is also grateful for every day.
"I want to do more things with my life, I want to actually say I was able to live," she said.