Woman Dragged Over 2,500 Feet Underneath Taxi A Decade Ago Dies After Rebuilding Her Life

A woman who lost 58 percent of her skin when she was dragged for over 2,500 feet on her back underneath a taxi in 2011 has died.

Johannesburg resident Kim McCusker passed away on 22nd April.

She was 36 years old.


McCusker was in her 20s at the time of the accident 10 years ago.

She and her then-fiance, Lourens Grobler, were heading to the gym in their car when a minibus taxi crashed into them at an intersection on 13th September 2011.

After the collision, Grobler got out of the car and started arguing with the taxi driver, Matome Thamage. McCusker then also got out of the car and went over to the scene of the altercation.


However, as she approached, Thamage put his foot on the gas, knocking McCusker down and running her over.

She became stuck underneath the vehicle and was dragged down the road on her back for 780 metres (2,559 feet).

Fifty-eight percent of McCusker’s skin was scraped off, leaving bone, muscle and ligaments exposed. She also suffered fractures to her spinal vertebrae in seven places and her legs.


Though doctors gave her little chance of survival, McCusker managed to pull through. However, she was left in constant pain and had to undergo around 40 operations.

She later managed to write a book about her ordeal called ‘Scarred – But Not For Life’, which was published in 2016.

A qualified advocate and former ballerina, she also succeeded in opening a beauty salon the same year.


Thamage was charged with attempted murder and reckless or negligent driving, to which he pleaded not guilty, in 2015. It is not clear if he was later sentenced.

But it is known that the Road Accident Fund awarded McCusker ZAR 10.4 million (GBP 532,648 [based on average 2015 conversion rate]) in the same year.

In the wake of McCusker’s passing, her sister, Julia Frantzeskou, wrote on Facebook: “We are heartbroken and in disbelief as it is hard to imagine a world without our precious Kimmy who, among so many other things, was a loving daughter to Doug and Pat, a devoted partner to Anthony and an incredible sister to Gareth, Ian and me.


“I know she touched so many hearts and that the significance of this loss will be felt by all, including her family, friends, staff members and clients.”

Her relatives chose not to disclose the cause of death.

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