Extent of the impact

Fatal: A vehicle accident at Hatherleigh in 2014 still haunts one of the witnesses two years later. He tells his story as our campaign continues.

Fatal: A vehicle accident at Hatherleigh in 2014 still haunts one of the witnesses two years later. He tells his story as our campaign continues.

The Naracoorte Herald’s drive. arrive. road safety campaign continues...

Fatal: The scene of the accident at Hatherleigh which still haunts one of the witnesses two years later.

Fatal: The scene of the accident at Hatherleigh which still haunts one of the witnesses two years later.

Two years on and the horrible scenes of a horrific car accident still plague the mind of a man who was first on the scene.

Dick Bradley, a bystander turned respondent, will never forget the day he experienced first-hand the tragic loss of life at a fatal accident at Hatherleigh in December, 2014. 

“I don’t feel I have recovered very well at all,” Mr Bradley said. “The whole issue is embedded in my mind, every day and early mornings.”

This is the sad reality many people face after going through a traumatic and life changing experience. 

Mr Bradley had no personal connection with the victims involved in the accident but it was his human instinct that took over, spurring him to help.

For many, being thrown into such a situation may be overwhelming and distressing to the point it might all seem like a bad dream.

Mr Bradley relied on his 20 years of experience as a football trainer dealing with trauma issues to guide him, although this was a far more serious case than he was used to. 

“I felt confident in what I had to do, along with comforting and consoling the only survivor until medical help arrived,” he said. 

Sadly, that was not the only mental scarring that Mr Bradley had to battle, with flashbacks of a previous experience testing his resilience. 

In 1971, Mr Bradley was hit by a drunk driver in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, suffering multiple life-threatening injuries.

Mr Bradley still struggles with trauma from the 2014 accident every day, and encourages anyone trying to recover from a similar experience to get help as soon as it is made accessible. 

Mr Bradley’s story is another reminder of how far the impact of a fatal car accident can reach.

Mr Bradley had a clear message for motorists this festive season: “Watch your speed, be alert of what others ‘might’ be going to do, it’s too late after the accident has happened and learn to think ahead and be prepared for any altercation that may happen.”

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