THE Bendigo family of a 19-year-old woman critically injured in a horror smash in Melbourne last week has called on people to take care on the roads.
Danica Pringle acquired a brain injury and suffered third degree burns and is fighting for her life in The Alfred hospital after the car she was travelling in crashed into a concrete pole at Cranbourne.
Danica is the daughter and stepdaughter of Scott and Kate Pringle of Bendigo, and granddaughter of Bob and Bev Pringle of Strathfieldsaye.
Bob Pringle has urged people to think behind the wheel. "Think of everyone else at the end of the line,'' he said. "Tragedy doesn't finish with death.''
A police officer for more than 20 years and member of the highway patrol for 17, Mr Pringle said he had seen road trauma and his heart went out to those affected, but he never had a true appreciation of the impact on the lives of others until this week.
"We are trying to illustrate to people the impact this has had on so many lives ... all of Danica's friends, her family's friends, the emergency services,'' he said.
"It's horrific - from the point of view of the parents, the grandparents, the friends, the emergency services, and the people who helped control the fire so she could get out of the vehicle ... and for Danica, because if she survives she is going to have a long, hard road in front of her.
"The worst part is that the confronting news we see each day and night on the television and in the paper, we're going to see something equally as bad by the end of the week. It just goes on and on. Out of all of this, we just hope it prevents one similar incident.''
Police are yet to piece together the circumstances surrounding the collision, but there were reports two cars were travelling side-by-side. Mr Pringle said he was careful not to place blame and did not "want to crucify someone who didn't do anything wrong''.
Letter to editor - page 19