A costal based swimming coach, Clint Burger is blaming himself after his son, Hein Burger, died in an accident in a car he had bought him for his 19th birthday a fortnight ago in Johannesburg.
The Swakopmund based South African said he regrets buying the mid-sized Sedan because “ if it wasn’t for the car my very promising swimmer son would still be alive,” he said.
The accident happened a fortnight ago in Heidelberg, south-east of Johannesburg. According to information gathered by Gauteng paramedics, said two vehicles collided head-on on the N3 at around 22:00 on Saturday.
“A young man believed to be between 18 and 20 years lost his life en route to the hospital after being found to be in a critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle escaped with minor injuries. The cause of the accident is still no yet known,” a Netcare 911 spokesperson is said to have reported.
Burger said his son, who had a valid driving license, was on his way home from dropping off his girlfriend after she’d treated him to a birthday dinner.
“He was basically driving back home when it happened and I was here when the phone rang. They had called his girlfriend and she gave the house number, by this time he had already lost his life,” said Burger.
He said the birthday celebration turned into a sombre occasion when he broke the news to the family.
“I had to break the news to a partying family, my wife and I could not believe it and we had to drive to the hospital to go and see for ourselves. It was a sad situation, especially because I bought the car for him and he just drove it that day for the first time and it took his life,” he said.
Now over a week after his son’s burial, Burger feels like he killed Hein himself. “Every day I live with this guilt and the knowledge that had I not bought the car, my son would still be alive. My wife tried to talk me out of doing it, that’s why it hurts me most,” Burger said.