A young motorist is coming forward to tell her story after getting attacked on the side of the road.
The Tauranga woman was driving late at night, on an urban street, with street lights, when she stopped to get something out of her back seat. Twenty seconds later, everything had changed.
“I closed my door and a car had pulled up. It had three people in it and they attacked me, trying to rob me.”
Speaking to SunLive a couple of weeks after the attack, the woman, who does not want to be named, says her attackers used a crowbar and gave her two blows to the face, leaving her covered in blood.
She sustained fractured facial bones in the attack, along with nerve damage to her lips, three broken teeth and a possible broken nose.
The woman wants to share her story with others with the hope no one else suffers the same thing.
“You’ve got to be careful. At the time I had only just gotten out of the car to get something out of the back seat. It all happened so quickly.”
The reason she stopped could have been easily avoidable, she says, and it has been running through her mind ever since.
“To be honest, I stopped because I was hungry. I had some food in the back of my car, so I went to get it from the back seat as I couldn’t reach it turning around and driving.
“I thought I’d be safe and stop and grab it out. Within 20 seconds they must have just seen me.
“They had asked me when I stopped, am I okay? I guess to suss if I was alone, because obviously they couldn’t see in my car at that point in time. So they asked the standard ‘are you alright?’ and my response was yip I’m fine, and then everything changed.”
A Givealittle page has also been set up for the driver to help cover medical bill and other costs.
“Someone has created a Givealittle for me, because ACC don’t pay for everything. They definitely don’t pay full dental and then depending how much damage there can be, whether they continue to pay and how much they continue to pay,” she says.
“There is like a cap, and if they think it’s going to be ongoing treatment that we’ll always have to fork out, they kinda don’t help. They’ve helped but I still have to fork out hundreds of dollars.”
The driver is sharing her story, to create awareness for drivers and that it if you don’t have to stop, don’t.
“We drive around so independently, and stop on our own free will, but things can just change so quickly.”
“If anyone stops, just go. Don’t even respond to them, that’s the main thing. If you don’t know them, continue to go.”