Brit woman injured in horror head-on collision in America speaks for first time

A woman on holiday in the USA will be unable to walk unaided for a year after a horror head-on crash.

Elizabeth Real was driving near Selma in Oregon when the car was she was in smashed into another.

The 30-year-old suffered catastrophic injuries, braking bones in her feet, both legs and her shoulder, reports Wales Online.

The tourist, who grew up in Pontypridd, was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center and later flown to Riverbend Hospital in Eugene after sustaining serious injuries.

Her passenger, Kelly Karaba of Arcata, California, was flown to Rogue Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

The driver of the other vehicle, 27-year-old Briana Varela, was taken to a Grants Pass Hospital and then flown for additional treatment to a hospital in Seattle, where she later died.

This week Elizabeth was finally flown back to the UK.

She is currently at Croydon University Hospital.

"They are trying to get me to Cardiff," she said. "But it’s looking unlikely."

Due to complications in surgery she had a minor stroke that affected her ability to speak and use her hands.

It will take between six months and a year for her to be able to walk unaided.

The day the crash took place Elizabeth was travelling to her friend’s sisters house in Seattle – in the day she said they had been doing "shopping ready for the weekend."

Elizabeth said: "I remember is it was dark and was quite late.

"I woke up to people tearing me out of the car.

"I remember people shouting: ‘everything is going to be okay’."


Elizabeth believes passersby stopped to help, and recalls the fire service being at the scene helping to cut her out of the vehicle.

"It was a shock," she said.

"I turned to my friend and I saw my friend clutching her broken jaw.

"This is when I turned back to the fire fighters to shout: ‘get me out, I don’t care how’.

"I saw my legs when they pulled me out.

"When I saw my legs I didn’t really understand – I was more concerned about my friend because she has Crohn’s Disease."

Elizabeth explained that one of her closest friends died from Crohn’s Disease so she knows how serious it is.

Elizabeth explained her friend, and passenger in the car, also broke her jaw and her pelvis, ribs, elbow and later went into a deep coma.

Elizabeth said: "Things take longer to heal with Crohn’s so all I did was worry about her.

"My new year’s resolution is to be able to get back to doing the things I was able to do – including aerial hoop.

"The culture shock of transferring to the NHS from America’s healthcare made it challenging to get through the reality of the situation.

"I have a very active job – I can’t do costume fittings and dress at the moment.

"I’m lucky nothing happened to my hands because, if it did, I don’t know what I’d do

"I’m hoping I’ll be like Wolverine and heal very quickly."

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