In the beginning of August a fatal traffic accident occurred on the Ring Road in South Iceland.
A car with four passengers ran off the road and overturned several times before coming to a stop upside down and catching fire.
Two young lives were lost despite police, ambulances and firefighters rushing to the scene and doing their best to save the victims of the accident.
Two teenage girls aged 15 and 16 were pronounced dead at the scene while the driver and the front seat passenger were rushed to the hospital with critical injuries.
The girls, who are believed to have not been wearing seat belts, were thrown out of the car, but I’m not aware of any further updates on that matter.
But that really doesn’t matter anyway.
Both girls were Polish citizens and visiting family members in Iceland.
The younger one, Natalia Gabinska (b.1998), was visiting her mother who currently lives in Iceland and who was also in the vehicle. Their family member Magdalena Hyz (b.1997) was the second victim.
This is really, really sad and the girls’ families have my sincerest condolences.
But the whole story got even more tragic.
The families of Natalia and Magdalena couldn’t afford to bring the girls’ bodies home to Poland where they are to be buried. It would have cost them ISK 2 million (over EUR 12, 000 or more than USD 16,000) to transfer the remains.
The fate of the two girls and their families moved many people here in Iceland, so people decided to help. They donated money, a lot of money.
In an act of compassion almost ISK 7 million was raised.
The families of Natalia and Magdalena were overwhelmed and grateful for the donation.
I was so touched when I read about the fundraising and I am glad that the families can bring their girls home now and lay them to rest. Hopefully they can find some peace.
For today, my faith in humanity has been restored.
This year we’ve had a lot of serious traffic accidents in Iceland with more and more tourists involved.
Most accidents are apparently caused by speeding and some people clearly overestimate their driving skills when it comes to driving on gravel roads.
When you are driving in a foreign country do not underestimate the road conditions and please stick to the speed limits and pay close attention to traffic signs as all of those precautionary measures were established by the locals who know their terrain and they are there for your own safety.
So please be careful and drive safely. And wear your seat belt.
Katharina Hauptmann – email@example.com