Samantha White was driving in Canberra on a rainy evening in late August. As she drove around a bend a vehicle travelling the other way, on the wrong side of the road, smashed into her head-on.
The actual crash only lasted a few seconds but the resulting injuries will impact the rest of her life.
The 25-year-old broke two bones in her forearm, fractured her foot and suffered whiplash. She is waiting to see if she will lose her right eye, damaged from the blunt force of an airbag deploying into her face.
Ms White was lucky. The driver of the other vehicle, a 42-year-old man, died at the scene. ACT Policing are investigating the cause.
She said the crash happened so quickly there was no time to consciously react. Viewing dashcam footage afterwards, Ms White realised instinct had taken over and she'd managed to push the brakes before the other car hit.
"It was very loud. Extremely loud. And I was awake the whole time. I looked around and thought, 'Oh shit'," she said.
Her first response was to call her brother. "I'm pissing out blood," she told him. Her brother now en route, Ms White realised her arm was stuck in the driver's side door. The right side of her body was lodged in the wreckage and she couldn't get out of the vehicle.
A woman appeared. She called emergency services and comforted Ms White.
"She tried to keep me calm and I was really annoyed because I was meant to go back to work. I just kept talking about how I was going to have to take more time off because I actually genuinely love my job," Ms White said.
"[Passers-by] tried to open my door but they couldn't, the woman told me to take deep breaths and that help was on the way. My brother ended up getting there pretty early, but I didn't realise until I was at the hospital."
Emergency services arrived within 15 minutes of the collision. They cut open the driver's side door, put a neck brace on Ms White, lifted her onto a stretcher and transported her to hospital in an ambulance.
Determined to return to her Canberra home as soon as possible, Ms White only spent three days in hospital.
Six weeks later and she's still recovering from the crash.
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"I can't really see out of my right eye. I'm going into surgery next week to see if it's fixable, and I'll get some vision back, or if I lose the eye. I have bruises and cuts all over me and scars on my knees and legs," Ms White said.
"Being in a car crash doesn't just impact you. It impacts families. It impacts the people at the scene and everyone involved.
"My family's had to adjust a lot. I'm one of nine children, I have seven older brothers, and they've never been more scared in their lives than when they heard about my crash.
"Once you're involved in a car crash it will affect you for the rest of your life."