Crash victim to study at Massey
Less than a year after almost dying in a car crash near Renwick, Blenheim teenager Kyle Jones says life is back to normal.
The 18-year-old was seriously injured last April when the car he was driving and a campervan collided at the intersection of Rapaura Rd and State Highway 6.
Mr Jones has no memory of the accident, something that he considers both a good and a bad thing.
Less than six months after the crash, he got a medical certificate permitting him to get back behind the wheel.
He was a bit nervous at first, but having no memory of the accident meant he didn't have any flashbacks of the near-fatal crash.
"I don't remember," he said. "I just woke up in hospital one day."
He often drives through the same intersection on Rapaura Rd where the accident happened, and is careful to fully stop.
"One time I was waiting at the intersection and a logging truck came around the corner," he said.
"I did think, ‘I'll wait here for a bit'," he said.
Next month, he will leave Blenheim to go to Massey University in Palmerston North where he will study for a five-year bachelor of veterinary science degree.
No other Marlborough Boys' College students are headed to Massey and the prospect of going to a place where he knows no-one is a bit nerve-racking, he said.
Going somewhere he won't be asked about the crash was quite appealing, though.
"A lot of people were talking about it and asking about it when I first came back," he said. "They sort of forgot about it after a while though."
His body was almost back to how it was before the crash.
After the accident, Mr Jones had bruising to his brain, which required a bolt in his head to relieve the pressure. Parts of his face including his jaw, cheek bone, eye socket and temple were also fractured, but plastic surgery managed to push the bones back into place.
He also suffered a subdural haematoma as well as a broken collarbone, which was "minor compared with everything else".
He thought about the crash occasionally when he was reminded by certain things, including the lasting damage done to his eye and ear.
Optic nerve damage made him lose half the sight in his right eye while he was left with medium hearing in his right ear.
He was grateful for the support he received after the incident, which has stretched to help him at university.
"I want to thank everyone for their donations. I'm using the leftovers to pay for my study fees at uni," he said.
Although a lot of people asked him why he wasn't getting into medicine after what happened to him, he is sticking with his dream of becoming a vet.
"I just like animals," he said.
The Marlborough Express