Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Langstrand Car Accident

At about 18H15 there was a terrible car accident on the road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay on Friday 12 December. The following story comes from the Namibian Newspaper, the pictures are from an alternate source.

TWO of Namibia's brightest young tennis stars lost their lives in a road accident at the coast on Friday.

The Davin sisters, Janine and Suzelle, were two of four fatalities after yet another car crash on the notoriously dangerous road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
According to information available yesterday, Janine (19), Suzelle (18) and a South African friend, Gere Maree, were travelling northwards from Walvis Bay in a Mitsubishi Pajero at around 18h15.
The driver of a Toyota Corolla, heading in the opposite direction, lost control of his vehicle.
After leaving the road, the Corolla apparently swerved back onto the highway and collided with the oncoming Pajero.
The Walvis Bay Fire Department had to use the jaws of life to free the victims from both vehicles, but Janine and the two passengers of the Corolla, a young man and a woman, did not survive.
Suzelle was rushed to Walvis Bay's Welwitschia Clinic, from where she was flown by helicopter to the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek.
She died there on Saturday.
Maree, a promising young rugby player, was taken to the Swakopmund Cottage Hospital with a fractured leg, but has since been released.
The Davin sisters were among the best tennis players Namibia has produced and were steadily climbing their way up the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rankings.
They have consistently won top honours in local tournaments and on several occasions represented the country on the ITF circuit.
Earlier this year, Suzelle became the first Namibian female tennis player to compete in the Junior Wimbledon Championships in London, where she progressed to the second round.
Ranked 108th in the world in the junior women's category at the time, she was the only African player in her class to compete in the event.
She was also named Namibia's Junior Sportswoman of the Year.
Both girls represented Namibia in the Federations Cup: Janine in 2004 in Malta and Suzelle in 2005 and 2006 in Turkey.
Besides her many victories on the tennis court, Janine also excelled as hockey player.
She scored both the national hockey team's goals to beat Nigeria and clinch the bronze medal for Namibia in last year's Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
She was playing for the hockey team of the University of Stellenbosch.
Suzelle had just completed her matric year at Bloemhof Girls High School in Stellenbosch and was awarded a tennis scholarship to study at the University of Iowa in the United States next year.
Janine was a science student at the University of Stellenbosch.
At age 13, their younger sister, Annalien, is also a budding tennis ace and rushed back home from a tournament in South Africa after the accident.
Namibian tennis coach and Federations Cup player Elizma Nortje had a hand in shaping the skills of both girls.
Speaking to The Namibian yesterday, Nortje said their deaths reverberated through the tennis fraternity in South Africa, where the Davin sisters were respected opponents.
"It leaves a void in Namibian tennis," she said, "but especially in the hearts of their family and friends."
Nortjé fondly remembers the beginning of their tennis careers when they were still knee-high, but fierce competitors.
They were introduced to the game by their mother, Jeanne, also a well-known competitive player in Namibia.
"They were always on the go; always on their way to some tournament or the other.
To be part of the Federation Cup team was just one of many highlights in the careers that they pursued with passion and dedication.
Suzelle and I still would have had a training session on Saturday," Nortje said.
The funeral service of the Davin sisters will be at 10h00 on Thursday at the Eros congregation of the NG Church.