Bree’s hard road to recovery 

A YOUNG Goulburn girl injured in an accident last weekend has been taken off life support.

Bree Patton, 18, was placed in an induced coma following a crash in which she was involved last Saturday morning.

A Holden Calais, driven by a 30-year-old Goulburn man collided heavily with her hatchback at the corner of Marys Mount Rd and Crookwell Rd at 3am. It landed partially on top of her car, police said.

The teenager’s mother, Jenny Patton, told the Post that Bree was taken off life support on Wednesday morning. She had been placed in a coma due to her brain injuries.

“At this stage she is only responding to us with eye movements,” Mrs Patton said.

“(As for her prognosis) the doctors have said it’s a case of wait and see. We will only know the extent of her brain injury when she starts doing things for herself.”

Later that day her daughter was trying to talk.

Bree also suffered a smashed pelvis and fractured sternum in the crash, which Mrs Patton said would require future surgery.

But if determination counted for anything, she said her daughter would pull through.

Bree had just completed her first year of a secondary teaching degree, specialising in English and History at Wollongong University. She had scored distinctions and high distinctions and was on a Department of Education scholarship at the university.

Her daughter was among the top students in 2011 at Goulburn High School.

“She’s a very sociable girl and popular among her peers. She’s also determined and that will help her get over this,” Mrs Patton said.

On the morning of the accident Bree had gone to pick up her boyfriend.

Before then, she had been at home and had not been drinking, Mrs Patton said.

The family does not encourage drink driving.

The pair was travelling west on the Crookwell Rd when the Holden Calais slammed into her vehicle.

Three passengers in the Holden were also injured. The driver, who allegedly fled the scene, was charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. He presented at Goulburn police Station five hours later.

Bree was airlifted to Canberra Hospital from the scene.

Mrs Patton said she received a phone call from police at 5am.

“It was just terrible,” she said.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.”

She and the family, including son Nicholas, 15, have been with Bree ever since. Her boyfriend, who suffered concussion in the accident, and his parents have been there too.

Mrs Patton thanked the many friends who were supporting them.

It’s another blow for the family.

Eighteen months ago Mrs Patton was diagnosed with brain tumours. She said the family had been plagued by everything and had simply been looking forward to the New Year.

“Bree was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.

Police said they were undertaking further investigations before laying more charges against the 30-year-old. He will appear in Goulburn Local Court on January 23.

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