News Queensland ‘I was meant to die’: Victim relives horror of Christmas Day crash
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‘I was meant to die’: Victim relives horror of Christmas Day crash

Ebony Rich had just dropped her brother off for lunch when her car was hit from behind. Photo: ABC
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Ebony Rich, 18, was just a few kilometres from home and on her way to celebrate Christmas with her family when instead she found herself trapped in her flipped and mangled car, having been rear-ended.

Speaking from her hospital bed, Ms Rich said she had not stopped reliving the Christmas Day crash that left her bloodied by the side of Beerburrum Road on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

“I noticed that the person that had been behind me for a while had moved into the middle of the road and started speeding up,” Ms Rich recalled.

“The car was speeding up really fast … I sort of looked away thinking, OK, maybe they’re overtaking me.

“I looked back and next thing I knew this Subaru went straight into my rear end and sent me flying across the road doing multiple spins.”

Ebony Rich, 18, was just a few kilometres from home and on her way to celebrate Christmas with her family when instead she found herself trapped in her flipped and mangled car, having been rear-ended.

Speaking from her Sunshine Coast University hospital bed, Ms Rich said she had not stopped reliving the Christmas Day crash that left her bloodied by the side of Beerburrum Road.

Aside from the overwhelming fear she had in that moment, Ms Rich barely remembers what happened next.

“He hit me at about 100-110 kilometres an hour in an 80 zone, so I didn’t have much time to process what was happening,” she said.

“I sort of got hit, didn’t touch the brakes, so I hit the ditch at 90 kilometres an hour and the first thing I thought was, ‘I’m going to die’.

“I closed my eyes at the first impact and the first two flips, then I was unconscious for the rest of it.”

Two good Samaritans stopped to help and kept Ms Rich as calm as possible until emergency services arrived.

In the immediate aftermath, she was bloodied and received stitches to her scalp, but she said each day since the accident she had found a new injury she didn’t know she had.

“Before I was actually put in the ambulance they noticed a deep gash in my head, which was then stapled up,” she said.

Apart from that I’ve got sprained, torn tendons to my ankles. At the moment I’m unable to walk, I’m unable to move my right leg.

“I’ve got muscles torn, there’s a lot of bruising from the seatbelt, and I’ve got burns in my chest just from the impact of the seatbelt.

“I’m still processing the trauma and finding out which parts of my body are in pain.”

She also suffered serious internal injuries and will remain in hospital for up to a week.

‘What did I do wrong?’

Ms Rich is still trying to make sense of why it happened.

“I’m still very traumatised. I can’t really sleep because I’ve been thinking about the moments before I was hit and what it felt like and what I was thinking,” she said.

“It’s been a rough few days just trying to accept what’s happened and the misfortune I’ve been given.

“As soon as I could start thinking straight in hospital I started thinking about why they would do that, what did I do wrong?”

Ms Rich said it had crossed her mind that it was a targeted attack against someone on their P-plates.

“I wasn’t speeding, I wasn’t on my phone, I was doing 80 — the speed limit — and I wondered if that was the cause,” she said.

“I don’t believe in God, but all I can say is, there was someone up in the sky praying for me and that kept me here, because I was meant to die.”

Ms Rich had dropped her brother off just 20 minutes before the crash.

Ms Rich said if her brother had still been in the passenger seat there was no chance he would have survived.

“I hope this person feels the guilt of what they have put me through and come forward,” she said.

The driver who hit Ebony overtook several vehicles before rear-ending her Suzuki hatch, according to police.

The driver did not stop after the collision and a number plate was left behind, but police said it was likely the plate belonged to another stolen vehicle.

Ms Rich’s father has made an appeal to the public to help find the “parasite” that did this to his daughter.

The car seen before the impact was a maroon or red Subaru Impreza hatchback, and the plate found at the scene had registration number 373EMZ.

-ABC