A devastated Nelson Mandela Bay father will stop at nothing to ensure his daughters make a full recovery – physically and psychologically – after they were involved in the horrific collision that claimed the life of Deryn Booth on Monday morning.
Darren Windvogel said his daughters Farren, 12, and Leigh Warney, 9, were in the back seat of the silver Peugeot with Booth’s son, Joshua, 10, when it was hit by a Toyota taxi on the corner of Marock and Stanford roads in Salsoneville.
He said Farren and Leigh had sustained serious injuries and were still in hospital, but he was just as concerned about their emotional trauma.
Yesterday, The Herald reported that Deryn Booth, 39, had died while her husband, Fabian, and son Joshua, were taken to hospital. The accident took place as they were taking the children to Triomf Primary School.
“Deryn and Fabian pick my girls up for school every morning,” Windvogel said.
“My partner, Fredeline [Warney], picks them up, along with Joshua, in the afternoons – that has been the arrangement for five years now.”
Windvogel, who is employed at Rand Civils and was working at Addo on Monday, said he received a panicked phone call from Fredeline shortly after 8am.
“She screamed both girl’s names and said she was in the ambulance. “I sped back to Port Elizabeth, to Greenacres Hospital,” he said.
He said Fredeline travelled in one ambulance with Leigh while his brother, Brandon, was in another with Farren.
“When we got to Greenacres we discovered there wasn’t a surgeon to operate on Farren, so I [decided they could] take her to Mercantile Hospital.
So my two girls are now in two different hospitals.” He said Farren, who had been sitting directly behind the passenger seat where Deryn had been sitting – and where the taxi hit their vehicle – had received severe injuries.
Her left leg was broken in three places and she had multiple lacerations. “Leigh is in high care at Greenacres. She has three broken ribs and other serious internal injuries. “I am devastated.
As a father I am the one who is supposed to protect them. I am heartbroken,” he said. He was also reeling from the death of Deryn, as the Booths were close friends.
He said Farren’s doctors had recommended that she see a psychologist after comments she made about seeing Deryn’s body in the vehicle after the crash.
Meanwhile, Captain Johan Rheeder said police had received complaints after a close-up picture of Deryn’s body was circulated on social media.
“We are unhappy about people at the scene who took pictures of the deceased and circulated them on social media.” He said police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.