Worthing girl Hayley Pierce wakes after horrific car crash

THE family of a Worthing teenager left fighting for her life after an horrific car crash have described the "miracle moment" she opened her eyes for the first time.

Hayley Pierce, who suffered severe head injuries after the crash in Southwick, regained conciousness on Saturday, March 14.

The 18-year-old's father Gerry Pierce said: "At the start of the weekend we weren't hopeful she was going to survive, but then on Saturday I went to the hospital and sat with her.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

"I said 'Mummy and Daddy and everyone that loves you is here', and then she opened her eyes.

"It was a miracle moment, she is our miracle girl. We're all just praying now that she will pull through and be okay."

James died

The teenager, who is a hairdresser at Diamond Cut in Goring Road, Worthing, and studies at Chichester College, was the passenger in the silver BMW driven by 21-year-old James Thetford, who later died of his injuries.

Mr Pierce, 45, who runs his own company GP Building Contractors, said his family are hopeful Hayley will fully recover.

He added: "You've got to prepare for the worst but expect the best. We are praying every day.

"We still don't know what the impact of the head injury will be. We have to wait until the swelling on her brain goes down. We will love her no matter what."

Close to home

Hayley has been moved from a specialist brain unit in Hurstwood Park Neurological Hospital to the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

Her parents, sister Kelly, 16, and 20-year-old boyfriend Sam Page have spent every day since the accident at her bedside.

Mr Pierce said he did not know why his daughter was in the car with Mr Thetford, or how the pair knew each other.

"She is such a safe, careful girl," he said.

Teenage freedom

"This is the first year she's had her freedom as an 18-year-old. Before, me and her mum Karen would drive her everywhere.

"You can't think 'what if' though. We just have to wait and hope our beautiful girl, our angel, will get better."

Susan Diamond-Levy, who owns Diamond Cut hairdressers, said Hayley was due to qualify as a hairdresser in June.

She added: "She is a wonderful girl, always lovely and friendly to customers.

"We are all thinking of her at the salon and a big part of our team will be missing until she is back with us."

More than 1,300 friends have joined a group called Supporting Hayley on social networking site Facebook.

-------------------------------------

Click here to go back to Worthing news.

Where are you? Add your pin to the Herald's international readers' map by clicking here.

Email the Herald: [email protected]

Click here for the Herald staff directory.

Want to read this page in French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Urdu or 48 other languages? click here for Google translate.