‘Haydyn was on the bonnet... his head was in the car’

Haydyn Cliff, 16, who was struck by a car in Maroochydore on Friday night. Photo Contributed
Haydyn Cliff, 16, who was struck by a car in Maroochydore on Friday night. Photo Contributed Contributed

A PROMISING young Sunshine Coast footballer has cheated death after being run down by a car in a suburban Maroochydore street.

Haydyn Cliff was catching a lift to an AFL match when the accident happened in front of his horrified mother.

The 16-year-old representative player's leg was badly broken and his head smashed through the windscreen of the out-of-control car on Dalton Dr on Friday night.

Haydyn had been due to run on for the Maroochydore Roos AFL side in Brisbane yesterday and was catching a lift when the accident happened.

His career with the Queensland AFL under-16 rep team is on hold after he underwent surgery to have pins inserted in his right leg yesterday.

The terrifying accident was witnessed by his mother Michelle Gardiner.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and I still keep seeing it. I just haven't slept," Ms Gardiner said as she waited for Haydyn to come out of surgery at Nambour Hospital yesterday.

Haydyn was placing his overnight bag in the rear driver's side door of a friend's car just after 9pm Friday, when he was hit.

The top half of his body went through the windscreen and he was carried more than 60 metres along the road before the car stopped.

"I thought he had gone under, but he was on the bonnet and half of him had gone through the windscreen," Ms Gardiner said.

"His friend was just chasing the car down the street, screaming."

Haydyn told his mother he blacked out but woke again beside the driver, while the car was still moving.

"His head was in the car ... he looked to the left and he saw the driver, he said it was surreal, like he was in a dream."

She said it was amazing her son was not more badly hurt.

"If he had been under the car and dragged, or hit his head, it could've been a hell of a lot worse."

Haydyn has had steel pins surgically inserted in both his tibia and fibula, below his right knee.

"He's worked hard and it's his dream just to play footy, and then this," Ms Gardiner said.

"He won't be able to walk at all for a couple of months.

"So his footy is over for the rest of the year, just because of this one stupid idiot."

Police are investigating whether drugs or alcohol played a part in the accident.

Topics:  afl car crash death editors picks injuries

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