“I did everything I could”

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Danika Lyster and Jarrad Sherlock at the crash site. Photo: Melinda Jane

For Silverdale resident Jarrad Sherlock, a quick trip into town to grab dinner turned into a night he will never forget.

Riding in the passenger seat, the 21-year-old was headed to his girlfriend Danika Lyster’s home in Glenmore Park when the pair witnessed one of the most horrific accidents right in front of their eyes.

“The Mazda came flying past us, cutting our car off, ducking and weaving between cars and that’s when he clipped the median strip, losing control and slingshotting the car onto the other side of the road,” he said.

The couple immediately pulled over. Mr Sherlock told Ms Lyster to call the ambulance and sprinted over to the wreckage. As he was approaching, he saw two other men attending to the victim’s car so he went straight to the Mazda. There was smoke and dust everywhere.

“I didn’t think anyone was going to be alive, the impact was unbelievable, the car was so mutilated I was just trying to somehow find him in the rubble,” he said.

“When I found him I lifted his head up and checked his pulse, he was unconscious but I could tell he was alive.”

Trapped inside of the car, 29-year-old Richard Moananu was falling in and out of consciousness.

Mr Sherlock said he was rubbing his neck and asking if he could feel it and if he knew where he was – anything to keep him awake and alive.

Once Mr Moananu came to, he ran over to the other car, where Katherine and Anh Hoang lost their lives.

“The other car was so much worse, I went straight to the female driver, she was barely conscious, I could tell she was alive but then she had a seizure right in front of me,” Mr Sherlock said.

“I was holding her hand trying to talk to her and telling her that everything was going to be okay and that the ambulance were on their way, I didn’t even know if she could hear me.”

Mr Sherlock then spotted a head in the backseat amongst the rubble, he ran to pry open the door where he was faced with a traumatic scene.

“When I got the door open, it was clear that the pregnant woman had already passed, I’ll never be able to get that image out of my mind,” he said.

“I then went to the passenger, I checked for a pulse and couldn’t find one, I thought he was dead so I left him and went back over to the Mazda, thinking he was the only survivor and stayed with him until the police came.”

Now, almost a week later, Mr Sherlock said he has barely slept and is sickened by the charges that were laid against Mr Moananu.

“It’s an absolute injustice, those twins were due in only weeks, it’s a joke and he should be punished for the full extent, it wasn’t two deaths, it was four,” he said.

Mr Sherlock urges everyone to do the right thing, slow down and to appreciate how precious life truly is.

“I just want the families of the victims to know that I did everything I could and I tried my best,” he said.

Nicola Barton is the Weekender’s general news journalist, incorporating political affairs and crime.

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