“I’m lucky to be alive”


By Cara Sulieman

A MAN who survived a head-on crash in a £80,000 Porsche in the Austrian Alps that killed two people admits he is “lucky to be alive”.

Andrew Cathro, 25, was on holiday with his sister Jennifer when they borrowed a friend’s sports car for a drive.

Jennifer, 26, was driving in torrential rain when the car skidded on to the wrong side of the road.

The Porche then smashed head-on into a Ford, killing its two Austrian passengers, Erika Yelinda, 62 and Siglinde Mitsche, 82.

“Terrible month”

Both the Scots siblings suffered bad head injuries in the crash and were in hospital for a month.

They have only just returned to Edinburgh to finish their recovery.

Andrew said: “It has been a terrible month. I had bleeding in my skull and I had to have a piece of my skull removed.

“Although we feel okay now, I’m still very shaken up and glad to be back.

“I’ll stay off work for the next couple of months and I’m going to look into therapy to help me recover.”

Can’t remember anything

Both Jennifer and Andrew were so traumatised by the smash on June 6 that they can’t remember anything leading up to it.

Andrew said: “The last thing we remember is enjoying a meal at a restaurant the night before. We’ve obviously blocked the crash out of our memory because it was so traumatic.

“We know we didn’t do anything wrong. Jennifer and I are experienced with cars and we never speed or drink when driving.”

Police said that Jennifer had tested negative for alcohol and they weren’t taking any further action.

Jennifer fractured her skull in the accident and will also be taking time out before she starts looking for a job after she finished a degree in psychology at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh earlier this year.

“Destroyed in the crash”

Andrew said: “We now want to get on with our lives. We haven’t seen any pictures of the accident and our camera with holiday pictures was destroyed in the crash.

“I haven’t been in a car since and I think I need a bit of time away from driving to get over the incident.

“We feel very sad for the people who lost their lives. When we work up in hospital, we were in disbelief and shock.

“We, of course, wish this tragic accident hadn’t happened.”

“Can’t touch them”

The car enthusiast will now drive his cars very differently than he has before, including his Nissan 350z and Ducati motorbike.

He said: “Although it won’t put me off cars, I will approach driving differently and will be more cautious. I’ll expect the unexpected from now on.

“My cars are my pride and joy but I can’t touch them at the moment.”