Image created by AI

Cyclist's Long Road to Recovery After Drunk Driving Tragedy on Glencairn Main Road

Published February 29, 2024
3 months ago

In the early hours of December 21, Dewald van der Westhuizen's life was forever altered on Glencairn Main Road. A hobbyist cyclist, Van der Westhuizen, was out with his coach preparing for an upcoming fitness event in April when tragedy struck in the form of a vehicle driven by an alleged drunk driver. The resulting collision has led to a strenuous journey of recovery for the 26-year-old.

The accident was so severe that Van der Westhuizen suffered a 'degloving' injury to his right leg—a horrifying condition where skin and tissues are peeled away from underlying structures. News24 reports that after a month in the hospital and five surgeries, he has been unable to regain the ability to walk without assistance.

Van der Westhuizen's ordeal is a stark reminder of the devastation caused by drunk driving. Not only has he faced extreme physical trauma, but also the financial burden is significant, with medical costs surpassing R700,000. Fortunately, his medical aid covered these expenses, which he views as a small price for the preservation of his limbs.

The aftermath of the incident saw the arrest of Garth Pasha, a seaman in the South African Navy, who now faces charges of reckless and negligent driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and attempted murder. Released on R5,000 bail, Pasha has been suspended from the navy with pay pending legal outcomes. Commander Theo Mabina stated that future actions regarding Pasha will depend on these proceedings.

The psychological effects on Van der Westhuizen are profound. Viewing CCTV footage of the collision left him with mixed emotions. Despite the challenges, he remains focused on recovery, learning to be mobile with crutches, and coping with daily pain and discomfort.

The incident raises questions about accountability and remorse, as Van der Westhuizen noted that an apology from Pasha would be welcome, highlighting the personal impact such events have. With the accused's driving privileges revoked, it underscores the legal and moral responsibilities that accompany road usage.

For Van der Westhuizen, each day presents new trials as he adapts to what he calls his 'new normal.' Despite the hardships and uncertainties ahead, he demonstrates resilience and an unwavering spirit to reclaim his life and mobility.

This tragic event not only sheds light on the perils of drunk driving but also gives insight into the struggle of survivors as they navigate the long and often arduous road to recovery. The physical, emotional, and financial toll is immense, yet Van der Westhuizen's ordeal also embodies the human capacity for strength in the face of adversity.

Leave a Comment

Rate this article:

Please enter email address.
Looks good!
Please enter your name.
Looks good!
Please enter a message.
Looks good!
Please check re-captcha.
Looks good!
Leave the first review