By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Updated: April 15, 2021 at 2:23 pm
In December 2013, Nathan Seychell was at his brother’s birthday party in Gawler, where he was planning to meet his girlfriend later that evening. However, she never made it.
Sadly, she was one of 97 people to lose their lives on South Australian roads that year. Nathan’s girlfriend was singing at carols in Tailem Bend before driving to Gawler to join him. On the drive, she lost control of her car and crashed into a tree.
Nathan remembers waiting for her all night, worrying that something had happened to her. He even went out and searched for her along some of the nearby country roads. When he woke up the following morning, he had dozens of missed calls from his girlfriend’s cousin and sister.
He knew something was wrong, and when he returned the call, he received the news that she’d been in a crash.
“Her cousin was crying so much that she couldn’t tell me what happened,” Nathan said.
My heart sank, and I went silent and knew what happened – she’d had a [car] accident.”
Later in the day, Nathan received a call from her parents and they explained what happened.
“They told me the news and how it happened,” he said.
“She lost control of her car and went into a tree. The force from the accident was so fierce that part of the tree snapped and crushed the roof of the car.”
Nathan said he felt empty and lost when he heard his girlfriend had been killed in a car crash.
“I had no words,” he said.
“The shock settled in instantly, and I didn’t want to believe it was true.”
On average, 1200 people are killed on Australian roads each year. In the first 4 months of this year, 36 people have lost their lives on SA roads – 4 more than at the same time in 2020 and 3 more than in 2019.
When asked about the long-term impact of his partner’s death, Nathan said it changed his outlook on life.
“I think twice about a lot of my actions and forgive easily…” he said.
“Life is short and so very precious, so why make it complicated?”
To honour those that have lost their lives on our roads, RAA is encouraging South Australians to share messages of love in the lead-up to this year’s National Road Safety Week from 16 to 23 May.
Nathan offered this heartfelt message to his former girlfriend:
You are missed every single day by so many people. I would give anything just for one more hug and to see that smile one more time.
RAA will be sharing these messages of love throughout National Road Safety Week to remember and honour friends, colleagues and family members lost to road trauma. You can do so by emailing your message to MessagesofLove@raa.com.au
If you want to send a message to a loved one, you can remain anonymous.
RAA Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said the messages would remind drivers that their actions on the road can impact so many people.
“National Road Safety Week reminds drivers why they need to stay safe and follow the rules,” he said.
“You need to fully concentrate on the task at hand when driving, because even at 50km/h, just a 2-second glance at your phone, stereo or crying child means you’ll travel around 28m blind to what’s around you.’’