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'They were trying to kill us!' - N2 brick throwing victim shares his horrific road ordeal

2018-01-23 06:01

Wayne Champion

Image: Wayne Champion

Durban - Rock or brick throwing on highways is a grim reality on South Africa's roads and leads to some of the most gruesome vehicle crimes.

It's an unnecessary act that inflicts so much trauma and tragic consequences. 

Wheels24 reader Wayne Champion and his wife fell victim to a brick-thrower in Durban two years ago and thankfully survived to share their story: 

Champion says: "Saturday night the January 2nd  2016, driving down the N2 from Scottborugh to Port Edward, the mood was a bit tense and the car was quiet after a difficult day. The silence was broken by a brick breaking the window with an enormous bang piercing our safe place, and the impact of the brick on my left shoulder felt as if I had been hit by a train.

'Impact of the brick to my left arm'

Earlier that day dropping the kids at King Shaka Airport after nearly 4 weeks of holiday with them, my attachment to the kids has strengthened and they have pierced the veil of my emotions, it's hard to let them go and the void of their energy was heavy. Marina and I spent the day at uShaka marine world, engaging in mindless activities just try to pass time as the mood was heavy. We found a place to eat at Scottburgh where we had a light and sober meal, both calm and gentle the heavy day seemed to be coming to the apex and the mood was much lighter.

Have you ever witnessed or been a victim of rock/brick throwing on SA's roads? Email us and we'll publish your experiences.

Heading from dinner to our accommodation in Port Edward we had a slight disagreement in the car, but neither of us seemed to have the energy to sustain the discussion. We both fall into a heavy silence my thoughts drifted with nothing concrete on my mind. It was exactly at this point when we would face our greatest fear.

Image: Wayne Champion

The brick hit the window as we drove under the bridge, in a very strange way; I saw the brick but happenened so fast I was powerless to do anything. I heard the bang of the window shattering and felt the impact of the brick on my left arm, I immediately knew without a doubt what had happened - the intention was to kill us.

At that moment I was like a warrior going into war. I had no idea of the extent of the damage but I didn't care. In that moment I let out a roar, the type of roar you take to army on a horse, and the mission was clear, protect at whatever cost.

'You have been shot!'

I knew I had to get to safety, that brick was NOT going to defeat me and allow the perpetrators into our world.

Marina was frantic and in a complete state, grabbing me and trying to pull me close to her. She was shouting: "You have been shot, you have been shot, I cannot lose you, I cannot lose you." 

I knew I had not been shot but had no idea what the damage was, traveling for the next 8 minutes. The roar continued to leave my lungs at an almighty sound, I was alert and aware of everything, the time was 9:04pm.

Seven minutes after impact Marina had calmed down and had wrapped my arm in her scarf, she was frantically looking for the nearest hospital. I was in complete control but knowing that I couldn't sustain this, I started to slow the car find a safe place to pullover.

It was time to hand over control to Marina, the soldier and instinct in her is strong as I lumbered into the passenger seat. She took control, GPS set for Margate Hospital - 34mins, its 9:06pm. It's hard to drive with the air coming through the front windscreen along with shards of glass.

Image: Wayne Champion

I find myself drifting, wondering if this is my time, slowly my eyes close as the blood oozes out of my gaping wounds. I'm feeling light-headed. Marina is shouting at me to stay awake, her clear voice has intention, she is not stopping as we head through the tollgate. Time is at its slowest, seconds feel like years, minutes are ages...

The pain in my system is extreme and as I looked at my wounds I found a second wound closer to my shoulder. It's gaping, the size of a golf ball, blood flowing down my arm. I tried not make it obvious that I am loosing blood as Marina is driving.

Have you ever witnessed or been a victim of rock/brick throwing on SA's roads? Email us and we'll publish your experiences.

As we head to Margate I focused, reached my phone and ensured Marina has access to all my records, medical aid, blood type etc.

Panic stations

We approached the hospital and I felt a clinch on life; your mind over-exaggerating the situation, but you are powerless to overcome the strong feeling of death. The time was 9:34pm, the emergency room was panic, people are falling over each other, the room so small and cramped with six people. Questions were being asked, blood being taken, twice, three times, I lost count.

I heared Marina’s voice in the passage as the doctors tried to piece together the puzzle before them, debating a gun shoot wound, I disagree. With the doctor's finger's piercing my wound, searching for the bullet, I look at him perplexed in sheer pain and agony asking him 'what are you doing?' He doesn’t care what I am saying, clearly he is in control.

Marina is back in the room, I hold her hand, wondering if this will be the last time I get to hold her hand. She is a soldier, she fought the battle when I could no longer fight, we are a team, she is the Queen, and I the King, operating to protect each other at whatever cost. 

Wayne and Marina Champion, at Margate Hospital. Image: Wayne Champion 

The night dragged on X-rays were taken unsuccessfully, time ticks on  and the pethidine kicked in. The feeling of Elysium fields are in my head staring at the wall with painted fish. I find myself daydreaming; the kids, John and Mary, Sarah, Marina, 'please don't take me now I have just found my partner who is going to bear my child'. Will I see my daughter? No, this is not fair. I am angry and confused.

'They were trying to kill us'

'Why, why why why would someone do this, that brick can tear through through our lives and cause chaos and havoc, for what?'

This was not an accident, this was intentional. They were trying to kill us, I could not give them the satisfaction of dying.

00:20am I was lying on the operating table as the staff frantically try and prep the theatre for the operation, the doctor standing calm in his short and slops. The nurses and anesthetist desperate, and as I find myself staring at the calm doctor, putting my life in his hands.

02:30am I was out, the pain numb. The injuries were much less severe than everyone thought, no broken bones but massive lacerations to the fore- and upper arm.

The emotions are high, the anger is real. I look around to find my queen, she is looking tired and exhausted I am powerless to help her, she is brave, she saved my life, I love her...

Read more on:    durban  |  margate

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