Durban cop in the dock after mom left paralysed following car crash
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Durban - A Malvern mother will never be able to walk again after her spinal cord was crushed when a police officer allegedly crashed his state vehicle into her bakkie. Her two children were also in the car.
Nishelle Reddy, 26, a transport co-ordinator, is paralysed from her chest down to her feet. She can only move her head and hands. Reddy is recovering in the eThekwini Heart Hospital.
The police officer, Kubendran Siva, a member of the SAPS Dog Unit, appeared in the Verulam Magistrate's Court last Wednesday on charges of reckless and negligent driving.
The 46-year-old was granted R10 000 bail and will appear in court again in May.
Mervin Pillay, Reddy's father-in-law, said she was travelling in a Hilux bakkie with her two children, aged 5 and 4, near Cornubia on March 7.
He said, according to witnesses at the scene, the police officer was travelling in a VW Golf, a state car, when he allegedly overtook a vehicle and then crashed into Reddy. Pillay said the bakkie rolled several times before landing on its side.
The children sustained a few scratches.
He claimed the Siva fled the scene but three witnesses took his vehicle registration number down, which he used to track him down.
Reddy managed to give one of the witnesses her husband, Luvashen's number. He and Pillay arrived at the scene minutes before Reddy was taken to the hospital.
"Nishelle was in pain. She could not move her body. My grandchildren were in shock after seeing their mom in that condition. My grandson could not even speak. My granddaughter was vomiting uncontrollably. We took all of them to the hospital for treatment."
Pillay said, at the hospital, doctors did a CT scan for Reddy.
"Then we were told she was paralysed from her chest to her feet. She will not be able to walk again because the injuries to her spine are so severe. The news just broke us. There is not much the doctors can do. What quality of life will Nishelle have now? My son is not coping. Seeing Nishelle in this condition is heartbreaking."
Pillay said when the family told her the news, she could not stop crying.
"To be so young and to know that you will never get to run outside with your kids or play with them like you used to, has left her torn. She is an independent person and now we need to get a caregiver to help her around the house when she is discharged. We are looking to make the home wheelchair-friendly."
Pillay said the family wanted justice.
"A policeman is supposed to severe and protect the public, not cause them danger or harm. His reckless driving could have killed my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren. I am disappointed and angry that the court saw it fit to grant him bail. He is a free man, while Nishelle is confined to bed and will never walk again."
Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said a case of reckless and negligent driving is being investigated by Verulam SAPS.
She said it was alleged that on March 7 at 6.30pm two vehicles collided on the M41.
“The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene after the accident. Three people sustained injuries and were taken to hospital for medical attention.”