A father who was in a horror smash that sent him and his three sons flying into a power pole has relived the moment he realised he couldn’t help his bloodied children escape the crumpled vehicle as they cried for help.
Mark Esposito was picking Jayden, 18, Leigh, 16, and Seth, 13, up from school and work at about 3.55pm on October 29 in Melton, in Melbourne‘s west, when they found themselves in the middle of a car chase between police and a truck driver.
The 47-year-old told Daily Mail Australia it all happened so fast that, by the time he realised the danger they were in, it was too late.
‘I remember saying “something’s going on” before the back of my car was hit and we were airborne and smashed into an electricity pole.’
The Esposito family, pictured left to right: Seth, 13, Leigh, 16, Jayden, 18, Tanya 39 and Mark, 47
Pictured: The family-of-five inside the red 1967 Ford months before the accident
Pictured: The family’s smashed classic 1967 Ford Fairlane 500. The car has no airbags and is worth $100,000
The next thing the father-of-three remembers is being trapped under pieces of steering wheel and steel, seeing his boys covered in blood and hearing their screams.
‘I couldn’t feel my legs – I felt so helpless and used all my strength to pull my arms over the front seat to get to my youngest son because I could see blood gushing from his head, and he was crying “Dad! Dad!”.’
He desperately tried to save his family as they lay in agony.
‘It was like slow motion to fight it and get to my kids. I was trying to put my arms around them but I couldn’t.’
The 47-year-old told Daily Mail Australia that by the time he realised the danger they were in, it was too late. Pictured: Seth int he care of emergency workers
Feelings of hopelessness took over as he fruitlessly tried to save his children from the broken car while they writhed in agony
Bystanders eventually helped the family escape the smoking vehicle, before police and ambulance workers arrived
Bystanders eventually helped the family escape the smoking vehicle, before police and ambulance workers arrived.
The youngest boy Seth was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital, while the older three went to Royal Melbourne Hospital.
When Tanya Esposito, 39, arrived to see her husband and children distraught and blood-soaked, she went into shock.
‘The feeling of trying to be there for your kids because you can’t be there,’ she said.
‘Emergency workers asked me what family member to accompany to hospital and it was like trying to choose between your kids.’
The youngest boy Seth was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital. Pictured: His broken arm
Jayden (left and right) was in the front seat at the time of the crash and hit the dashboard
Leigh (right) suffered a concussion, extensive bruising throughout his pelvis and hips. Jayden (left was in the front seat at the time of the crash and hit the dashboard and Seth (middle) broke his arm in three places
She opted to follow her youngest son Seth to hospital where he was treated for a head injury and had a cast put on his arm because it was broken in three places.
Leigh suffered a concussion, extensive bruising throughout his pelvis and hips, and now suffers from severe nose bleeds.
Jayden was in the front seat at the time of the crash and hit the dashboard.
He had operations on his knee, but he also hit his head which shocked his nervous system.
‘The right side of his body is numb and he can’t feel it properly,’ Mrs Esposito said.
‘His speech is severely impaired and he finds it hard to express himself, and he has a lot of anxiety and suffers from flashbacks to the accident.’
The former landscaping designer said he was ‘getting back on his feet’ after an accident 12 years earlier, is paralysed with devastation (pictured: his three sons)
The boys’ father, who has spent the last 12 years recovering from a smash in 2008 which shattered his pelvis, does not know the extent of his injuries
The boys’ father, who has spent the last 12 years recovering from a smash in 2008 which shattered his pelvis, does not know the full extent of his injuries.
‘The hospital is going off my old scans from 12 years ago, but I know I’m all bruised internally,’ he said.
‘I have a back fracture that they thought was from an old injury, and it turns out it’s new, but the hospitals haven’t said much – but I can’t walk.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Royal Melbourne Hospital for comment.
The former landscaping designer said he was paralysed with devastation.
‘I’ve got no more tears – watching my whole family like this…with my previous accident, and now I’ve got to carry a family who are in pain.’
The couple said their home is broken and they don’t know what the future holds
To help covers medical and living expenses, a family friend set up a Go Fund Me page
The couple said their home is broken and they don’t know what the future holds.
‘I’m a hairdresser by trade, but I’ve taken a new job at a party store, but my priority now is my family.’
To help covers medical and living expenses, a family friend set up a Go Fund Me page.
Police confirmed the man behind the wheel of the truck was driving erratically before he allegedly crashed into the Esposito family.
‘The truck collided with a vehicle on Melton Valley Drive before heading into nearby parkland, narrowly avoiding pedestrians and colliding with a power pole,’ it said in a statement.
The 33-year-old Melton driver was hit with a string of charges, including dangerous driving causing serious injury, negligently causing serious injury, and seven counts of reckless conduct endangering life.
He was also charged with fail to render assistance, dangerous driving while evading police, unlicensed driving, trespass, unlawful assault and various other driving related offences.
The man appeared at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on October 30.