14 April 2021

Car crash that killed Alexis Saaghy leaves family in 'indescribable pain'

| Albert McKnight and Michael Weaver
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Alexis Saaghy

Alexis Saaghy will be remembered as a selfless and compassionate soul. Photo: Supplied.

The family of 16-year-old Alexis Saaghy has been left in “indescribable, horrific pain” after she was killed in a car crash.

ACT Policing has accused Ameen Hamdan of being behind the wheel when the Nissan Navara hit a tree on Longmore Crescent in Wanniassa early in the morning of 31 October 2020.

After the incident, Mr Hamdan, an 18-year-old P-plater, and two passengers were transported to hospital with minor injuries.

But Alexis, the front-seat passenger, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and died on 3 November.

READ MORE “A life can change in the blink of an eye” – a family’s plea for road safety

This week, Alexis’s mother, Claire Wood, who was there when her daughter’s life support was turned off, told Region Media about the heart-breaking pain of losing her daughter, saying it was like being in “a nightmare you can’t wake up from”.

“Every day we wake up and pray to God she’s in her room sleeping peacefully and happily. But then reality hits all over again,” she said.

“We try our best to be strong for our children, to keep celebrating all the special occasions, but the underlying pain and ache is always there knowing that Alexis should be opening her Christmas presents or celebrating her sisters’ birthdays, or loving on her baby brother.

Alexis Saarghy's family

Alexis Saaghy’s family with step-father Shane and mother Claire during a trip to Sydney. Photo: Supplied.

“We should be teaching her to drive or helping her with Year 11, or she should be starting her next season of rugby union.

“It rips your soul to pieces knowing that her life, her essence, her being has been ripped from this earth 60 years too soon.”

Ms Wood said that for the rest of her and her family’s lives they would “live with indescribable, horrific pain”.

“She wanted to be a mother, see the world and help others, and all of it is gone now,” she said.

“And it’s not just us. It’s Alexis’s extended family, her friends, her teachers, her coaches, the emergency response people, the doctors and nurses are all in pain.

“The impact has rippled throughout the community and everyone is hurt and broken from losing Alexis.”

Ameen Hamdan (second from right, with a short beard) leaves the ACT Courts with supporters on Wednesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

Ms Wood begged the wider community to drive safely.

“Be smart, and please know that when you drive, you are responsible for the safety of everyone on or near the road,” she said.

“You don’t know whose life you could end, whose family you could destroy, or whose child you could take from this earth.”

READ MORE P-plater charged with culpable driving following fatal collision

Mr Hamdan, now 19, was issued a summons to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (14 April), charged with culpable driving causing death and contravening the conditions of a driver’s licence.

At the end of the very brief hearing, Magistrate James Lawton adjourned the case to 5 May. Pleas were not entered.

If convicted, Mr Hamdan faces a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

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