Springfield PS traffic warden returns for visit after recovering from accident

Dawn Vorster (centre) with students Ciara Beaumont, Sophia Young, Alyssa Jones, Miah Dennaoui, Tom Linehan, Cooper Thorley and Joshua Boyce. Picture: Martin Kennealey d481713
Dawn Vorster (centre) with students Ciara Beaumont, Sophia Young, Alyssa Jones, Miah Dennaoui, Tom Linehan, Cooper Thorley and Joshua Boyce. Picture: Martin Kennealey d481713

TRAFFIC warden Dawn Vorster had just let the last of the children through the Springfield Primary School crosswalk when she was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver.

The 79-year-old was pinned against a pole, crushing her bowel, fracturing her pelvis and leaving her with many abdominal internal injuries and a deep laceration to her right leg.

She was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital where she remained for seven months with four operations, two stints in the intensive care unit and spending the rest of the time in the trauma ward.

Now she lives in a rehabilitation facility at Brightwater in Kingsley.

“Mum was an independent woman living in Sorrento,” Steve Vorster said.

“We’re not sure if she’ll ever be independent again.”

During her time in hospital, Ms Vorster received many cards and well wishes from Springfield Primary School students and staff.

Last month, she returned to the Kallaroo school to thank them for their support.

“All the kids were devastated as news spread of what had happened,” Mr Vorster said.

“Going back meant she was able to show her face and show them she was better.

“It also gave her some closure; she will never work again.”

Principal Len Collier said the school community was “really shocked” when they heard about the incident.

“The idea of cards came from the students and was carried through by the teachers,” he said.

“We were trying to show that we cared about her and hoped that she made a speedy recovery.”

He said Ms Vorster was invited to hand out weekly awards at a special road safety assembly that coincided with Ride to School Day.

National Road Safety Week runs from April 30 to May 6.

Springfield Primary School will host Road Safety Commission acting commissioner Iain Cameron tomorrow for a special assembly.

Students have made yellow ribbon posters and the school community is encouraged to wear yellow.

Landmarks across WA will also glow yellow to raise awareness of road safety and people can wear a yellow ribbon or place a yellow sticker on their car.

Last year, 1227 people were killed on Australian roads and of those, 161 were in WA.

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