Car vs truck: It’s a miracle we survived, says mother of 2

A young Pretoria mother lay over her children and took most of the impact from a crash.

A Pretoria family is grateful to have survived a horror crash on the KZN South Coast.

Cherise Nel (33), her fiancé Tiaan de Klerk (34), and her children, Kaitlyn (3) and Hailey (4) De La Porte, arrived at the coast last Sunday, for their first family holiday at the sea.

Lucky to be alive are Cherise Nel , her fiancé Tiaan de Klerk, and her children Kaitlyn and Hailey De La Porte.

That evening they went for dinner. On the way back to their holiday accommodation in Sunwich Port, they decided to stop at a shop to buy cooldrinks.

It was then that they were involved in a horrific crash with a large truck on the notorious stretch known as ‘Suicide Bend’.

The truck involved in the crash.

The impact from the crash caused both airbags to pop, and their car to slide under the truck.

Nel says she will never know what came over her, but as their car collided with the truck, she unbuckled her seat belt and jumped out of the passenger seat to where her girls were sitting in the backseat.

She lay facedown over her children and took most of the impact.

The remains of the car after the crash.

“I remember praying; Lord you can take me but just let my children live. They are so young and have their entire lives ahead of them.”

The girls escaped with a few small bruises. De Klerk suffered a hard blow to the head but has recovered well.

Nel spent two days in a Port Shepstone hospital recovering from a broken wrist, fractured nose, and cuts and bruises to her body. Her arm is in a sling and she is on a long road to recovery.

Cherise Nel after the collision.

“It’s a miracle that we are alive! We are blessed from above, as the Lord gave us another chance at life. No words can describe how grateful and happy we are to have survived such a big accident,” said Nel.

She also thanked her ‘hero friends’, Xander Bezuidenhout and his brother Armand, from Amanzimtoti, for being incredibly supportive during this difficult time.

The car after the accident.

“Having an accident while on holiday is scary, as you don’t know anyone and you don’t have your family around. We were so lucky to have had help from Xander and Armand,” she says.

The family flew back to Pretoria today, as their car is a write-off.

Cherise Nel, her fiancé Tiaan de Klerk, and her children Kaitlyn and Hailey De La Porte with their friend Xander Bezuidenhout.

Looking forward, Nel says this life-changing ordeal has taught them not to take anything for granted.

“This was the worst holiday of my life, but we survived which is a good thing. We are grateful for all the precious moments together,” she adds.

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