Husband and wife Tracie and David Bangert were travelling to a Halloween party with their two children Lucy, 13, and Patrick, 15 when they were in collision with another vehicle on South Lane at around 5.30pm.
David suffered two broken ribs while Tracie was badly bruised. The two children also suffered minor injuries but all four were left ‘shaken-up’ by the terrifying experience.
Tracie said: “David was driving and I saw the car coming towards us, I could see it probably about three seconds before the impact.
“I said to my husband ‘look out’ but he didn’t have time to react because it was just so fast, the impact was massive.
“They were in an old fiesta and that was completely wrecked. Luckily we were in an Audi which saved us from worse injuries.”
She added: “We were all dressed up as we were headed to a Halloween party so there was a slightly comic moment when a paramedic asked if blood on us was real or fake.”
According to South East Coast Ambulance service a man in his 20s in the other vehicle suffered a serious leg injury, while a woman, also in her 20s, suffered various ‘serious injuries. Both were taken to St Richard’s Hospital with injuries not said to be life-threatening.
Tracie said the female in the other vehicle was trapped in the car and had to be cut out by fire officers.
She said members of a family living in a house nearby came to assist, with one man getting into the car to reassure the trapped woman.
The Bangert family all suffered injuries but Tracie says they just feel lucky.
“My son is on the autism spectrum so he was having a bit of a meltdown. Lucy had hurt her hand, it wasn’t so bad but she was shaken up tremendously,” she said.
“I’m badly bruised and have a broken toe and my husband has two cracked ribs.
“But we were really lucky. We were going to take the dog with us but didn’t in the end and it would have been dreadful for him in the back of the car.
“We just feel we are very fortunate that we were in a really good car. My husband is not a panicky person and he did all the right things as much as he could.
“The emergency services were brilliant and something like this brings out the best in people because the people who came to help were so kind.”
She added: “None of us had ever been in a major accident before so it’s a strange feeling knowing a crash is inevitable but there’s nothing you can do about it.”
A police spokesman said the driver of the Ford, a 26-year-old man from Emsworth, was taken to St Richard’s Hospital with a neck injury, along with his 24-year-old female passenger, who suffered a broken sternum and collar bone.
Two passengers in the Audi, a 51-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl were also treated in hospital.
Police are investigating the collision.
Anyone who witnessed it or saw either of the vehicles in the area in the time leading up to it is asked to email [email protected] or call 101 quoting Operation Snake.