IN a single instant, one stranger’s selfish decision to drink and drive would shatter Alethia Mylonas’s dreams – nearly kill her – and confine her to a hospital bed for almost a year.
“Everything went out the window, all of my hopes and dreams,” Alethia said. “I was saving to go overseas, and I wanted to buy a house. I had to start from scratch, I had to learn how to live again.”
The 38-year-old suffers from permanent brain damage, mobility problems and speech impairment at the hands of a drink driver who smashed into the side of her car.
Even now, 18 years on from her accident, and the ramifications of someone else’s actions still effect Alethia every single day of her life.
Her injuries serve as a physical reminder of the nightmare she endured as a 20-year-old.
“I can’t even explain how I was feeling,” Alethia said. “I couldn’t believe this happened to me and I couldn’t understand why.”
Alethia’s story is a timely reminder of the very real dangers of drink-driving and her simple message is for people to act responsibly on the roads this Christmas.
The sad reality remains, that she is just one representative of the countless number of road accident victims that suffer life-long disabilities – or even worse, those who are killed on our roads.
In Port Macquarie alone, we have lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters through eight fatalities in the past year.
That is simply unacceptable, says our head of Crash Investigation Unit, Senior Constable Jason Bentley.
The death of two young men on New Years Day 2012, would ink the first names on the list of heartbreaking tragedies to occur on our roads.
Later we would learn the story of a couple expecting twins, who both died when their car hit a tree on the Pacific Highway south of Kew.
There was pushbike Pauly and the Hill Street horror, among others.
But perhaps the worst atrocity of all, is that road accidents are often entirely preventable.