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Madeleine West on the horror crash that nearly killed her

Madeleine West has offered a raw, emotional account of the accident that almost killed her 18 years ago.In 2002, the Neighbours star was standing at a bus stop on Oxford St in Sydney when she was hit by a bus, leaving her with brutal injuries including three skull fractures, leaking brain fluid, a cerebral haemorrhage…

Madeleine West has offered a raw, emotional account of the accident that almost killed her 18 years ago.

In 2002, the Neighbours star was standing at a bus stop on Oxford St in Sydney when she was hit by a bus, leaving her with brutal injuries including three skull fractures, leaking brain fluid, a cerebral haemorrhage and haematoma, “busted” teeth, broken capillaries and “endless nights of excruciating pain”.

As she revealed to Stellar Magazine, the mental ramifications of the accident have stuck with her for nearly two decades.

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This weekend’s Stellar cover star, West has revealed why she decided to go back to that fateful bus stop to confront her fears in a moving piece written for the publication.

“To this day, I still go weak at the knees at the sight of a bus,” she penned.

“All the inspirational quotes in the world don’t stop the immediate urge to wet myself when the first bus pulls in to pick up passengers. Absurdly, it is the hissing of the brakes that sends my heart racing and pulse thrumming. My fists are clenched and my nails dig into my palms with a force that threatens to draw blood. I can’t breathe.”


She went on to share her experience revisiting the scene of the accident that changed her life, writing that she broke down in tears as the painful memories came flooding back.

“A strange noise catches my attention. A shallow, pained keening. The cry of an injured animal or frightened child. It’s coming from me,” she wrote, explaining that eventually, a woman named Karen approached to comfort her, triggering a powerful display of solidarity from other passengers as she continued to face her fear.

“I’m about to do a runner when someone asks, “Are you OK?” A tentative hand touches my shoulder, attached to kind eyes and a steady smile that offers understanding.

“As each successive bus swings in, I find myself reaching instinctively for that hand, until slowly the impulse fades and ebbs away. Another passenger, spying our tense vigil, checks in and chooses to join us. Then another. And then a couple. But it is Karen who stays with me for the entire four hours and 35 minutes.

“Finally, the bus comes that does not elicit terror, and as it rolls away, I turn to her and simply say, ‘Thank you’.”

In May, West has shared a graphic photo of the injuries she sustained after the incident.

The actress, who played Dee Bliss on Neighbours, shared the photo on Instagram and wrote: “Today I’m celebrating 18 years since being hit by a bus in the head … always wanted to be the kind of girl who stopped traffic. Just preferably not with my face.”


West added that the photo was taken as she was on the path to recovery.

This isn’t the first time West has opened up about the horrific 2002 accident.

On the Who Are You with Pete Timbs podcast, West went into detail about the incident.

“Evidently, a bus was travelling at speed … coming into the bus stop … and he just collected me as I turned right to look for the traffic lights,” she said. “So the left side of my face splat on the windscreen.

“(It) put me in the air for a couple of feet and I landed on my face again on the same side and I scraped along the ground for a couple more feet, and then was kind of left there in the gutter.”

To make matters worse, West was robbed while she lay unconscious.

“Someone stole my wallet … so the paramedics couldn’t ID me,” she said. “It was actually two sex workers who were working in the vicinity who held me and stopped the bleeding on my head and called an ambulance.”

Read the full piece written by Madeleine West in the current issue of Stellar, available in the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Herald Sun, on sale Sunday, August 2.

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