Police podcast warns Easter drivers of lasting trauma, South Australia

Kristalle Dumesny was 18 years old when her car collided with a truck after the 2017 Easter long weekend. Kristalle received fatal injuries and sadly died at the scene.

For the first time, Kristalle’s story is being powerfully reenacted in a podcast released by SAPOL today. The podcast has also been made into a short documentary-style film, further emphasising the emotional toll on all those touched by road trauma.

Kristalle’s Dad, Steve Dumesny says participating in the podcast was emotionally difficult but something he hoped would save other parents from the trauma he lives with each day.

“Nothing will ever bring Kristalle back,” Mr Dumesny said.

“But if I can influence one driver to take extra care and avoid the same catastrophic outcome, it will be worthwhile.

“Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them. I want people to know it can happen to anyone,” Mr Dumesny warned.

Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott, Officer in Charge State Operations Service says the podcast and film highlight the lasting and horrific impacts of road trauma on families, friends and emergency services workers.

“We are very grateful to Kristalle’s loved ones who have bravely shared their memories of Kristalle as a bright, energetic young woman and the devastating affect her death has had on their lives,” AC Parrott said.

Superintendent Scott Denny, a close friend of Kristalle’s Dad, was the Officer in Charge of the Local Service Area where Kristalle’s crash occurred. Supt Denny’s honest and confronting account of the tragic incident is also featured in the production.

“We thank Superintendent Denny, the Major Crash investigators, SA Ambulance personnel and representatives of the trucking company who share their experience of Kristalle’s crash, in the hope of shining a light on the senselessness of lives lost on our roads,” AC Parrott said.

“Seven people have died in a road crash on the Easter Weekend over the past five years,” AC Parrott said.

“Six of those seven deaths have occurred on regional roads and 43 percent of all Easter long weekend crashes have been caused by distraction or inattention. These are crashes that simply do not need to happen.”

Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Joe Szakacs said the podcast and film are poignant reminders to South Australians that every decision we make on the road has the potential to take a life.

“The ripple effect of road trauma can be felt across the whole community,” Minister Szakacs said.

“I urge every driver to pay close attention to the road this Easter and to avoid unnecessary risks that could impact their life and the lives of their loved ones, forever.”

Police will conduct Operation Safe Holidays Easter from Thursday 14 April to Monday 18 April, across the state. The operation will target the ‘Fatal Five’ driver behaviours that most contribute to lives lost and serious injuries on the road: Distraction, drink/drug driving, speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt and dangerous driving.

The free podcast is available on https://soundcloud.com/southaustraliapolice/fatal-5-the-story-of-kristalle-dumesny?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing and the film can be accessed at https://youtu.be/qQ5BT-_Nw0k

/Public Release. View in full here.