Sydney makeup artist Tahlia Mardini recalls the New Year’s Eve 2017 crash that killed a friend
A makeup artist has relived the harrowing moment of being involved in a fatal car accident that killed her friend and left her with permanent injuries after she decided to hitchhike to a New Year’s Eve party.
Tahlia Mardini was just 16 when she and friend Tegan Galea-Elson went to a house party at Punchbowl in Sydney in 2017.
The couple decided to head to another party in Chester Hill in time for the countdown.
The 18-year-old driver was intoxicated with prescription drugs and speeding before losing control of the vehicle and crashing it into a parked ute.
A makeup artist (pictured Tahlia Mardini) has recalled the harrowing moment she was involved in a fatal car crash that killed her friend and left her with permanent injuries
Ms Mardini was put into a coma for five weeks after suffering injuries to her jaw, nose, cheekbones, orbits and brain
The 18-year-old driver was intoxicated with prescription drugs and speeding before losing control of the vehicle and crashing it into a parked ute
Ms Galea-Elson was killed and Ms Mardini was placed in a coma for five weeks, suffering from a broken jaw, nose, cheekbone, eye socket and brain injury.
She also has permanent vision loss in one eye and hearing loss in her right ear.
Ms Mardini has opened up about her traumatic experience six years later, calling her injuries a “life sentence” and saying she wouldn’t wish it on her “worst enemies”.
“Nobody thinks that’s ever going to happen to them,” she told A Current Affair. “Everything happened so fast.”
Ms Mardini and Ms Galea-Elson have been two peas in a pod since they met on the first day of Year 9 at Sylvania High School in south-east Sydney in 2015.
Three years later, the two, then 16 and 17, were excited to spend their first New Year’s together when they arrived at the Punchbowl house party.
As the clock approached midnight, the girls decided to move to a friend’s house in Chester Hill to see the fireworks, but were reluctant to spend their few dollars on a cab.
When Ms Galea-Elson’s friend Yassin El Seidi called and offered to give her a ride, the teenagers were relieved they could keep their money.
Tahlia Mardini was just 16 when she and friend Tegan Galea-Elson (left) went to a house party at Punchbowl in Sydney on New Year’s Eve 2017
The driver was on a cocktail of prescription drugs tramadol and diazepam and was driving through traffic at a dangerous speed at the time of the accident (pictured).
But as soon as the car pulled away, Ms. Mardini started to feel uncomfortable.
Moments later, the car slammed into the rear of a parked ute in Yagoona with such force that the ute overturned a utility pole and was thrown 10 meters down the street.
But first the paraphernalia tray had smashed through the passenger side, hitting Ms Galea-Elson and then Ms Mardini from the chest to the head.
Witnesses rushed from their homes and called paramedics, but Ms Galea-Elson had already lost too much blood by the time they arrived at the scene.
Ms Mardini was taken to Liverpool Hospital, where she spent more than a month in a coma before having to start her life “from scratch”.
“I can’t explain how it sucks to wake up one day and find out you survived but your best friend didn’t,” she previously told Daily Mail Australia.
“I broke down, I had so much guilt in my heart. Why did God save me and not her? I wouldn’t wish that feeling on my worst enemy.”
The car (pictured) hit the ute with such force that the ute was thrown 10 meters down the road against a power pole
As she adjusted to her new life, she was attacked by bullies because of her horrific injuries that changed her life and appearance forever.
She took a TAFE makeup artistry class to learn how to cover up her scars and take her focus away from the tragedy.
Ms Mardini shared her story as a reminder for drivers to be careful on the road as the death toll spikes in 2022.
About 1,089 people were killed, 62 more than in the previous year.
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury urged drivers to be cautious on the roads and not take unnecessary risks such as speeding or running red lights.
“You can’t legislate against fools, but you can certainly take their licenses and their cars’ licenses,” he said.
“It is important that we take the right and sensible measures to get through this holiday season and the new year safely.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11603893/Injured-driver-opens-crash.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Sydney makeup artist Tahlia Mardini recalls the New Year’s Eve 2017 crash that killed a friend