Cape Town – Several Twitter users have taken exception to comments Taufiq Carr, who had to have his legs amputated after he crashed his BMW at 320km/h in an illegal street race on the N1 near Century City last month, has made from his hospital bed.
But they seem to have misinterpreted remarks he made to YOU magazine in an interview.
Renaldo Gouws’s tweet sparked a barrage of criticism directed at Carr. "Taufiq Carr, the guy that crashed his BMW in a drag race in Cape Town said if he could redo that horrifying Sunday evening he would.
"So he is admitting that he would once again put people’s lives at risk and allow the same events to happen that cost him both his legs. #confused."
The comments became more scathing.
"Dont take him too seriously. In about 6 months time, when the magnitude of his situation hit him, when he finds out what a prosthesis costs, when he realizes what stump care entails, when phantom limb pain keeps him up at night..he will know," tweeted @PhilvN.
TomBuilder tweeted: "Its gonna cost him more than that. The mortality rate of a 5 year double amputation isn’t good. Poor guy, but he was an idiot."
It was left to @LegendryAfrican to steer the debate in the direction of what father-of-two Carr, whose wife is six months’ pregnant, had actually said: "To be fair he said he would do it legally this time…"
Plagued by flashbacks nearly a month after the horrific incident, the 26-year-old Carr, from Mitchells Plain, clearly indicated in the interview that he was deeply scarred after he crashed his BMW into the centre barrier on Sable Road, the off-ramp from the N1 at Century City. It was his second race of the night, after he had won the first.
Now, after that clarity, I don’t really care about him or what he did to himself. What concerns me more, is that he has absolutely NO concern for anyone else’s life on the road(s)!!! What he did is a criminal offense. There is video footage! He should be prosecuted and jailed!!!
— Lackadaisical 007 (@bjvd007) February 14, 2019
"All I see is myself driving, the car starting to wobble, hitting the barricade and then the thudding sound that came after," Taufiq said from the Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital.
Two videos of the crash went viral. A video taken from the passenger side of the car on the night of the crash shows the BMW speeding alongside a second car, a white BMW. A few seconds into the video a motorbike comes speeding through between the two cars.
The second car starts closing the gap when the video starts shaking and a man is heard saying, “Hey”. Sparks appear on the screen before the video ends.
Carr’s friend, Imraan Ebrahim, 24, escaped with only a cut to his finger.
At first, it was difficult for Carr to understand why his injuries were so severe when his friend got off lightly.
"I just accepted the fact that I’m like this. I made peace with the fact that this happened to me," Taufiq says in the interview. "That is why my healing is going so well."
If he could redo that horrifying Sunday evening, he would, Taufiq says.
"There’s no prize for winning a race. We do it for fun, for the passion.
"I felt the car shaking so I decelerated and accelerated again. Then I went into the barrier.
"I looked down into a pool of blood. There was just blood gushing out of my legs, like a tap that was turned open. I took my legs and lifted it out of the car. I still tried to get out of the car, to lift myself, but my collarbone was popped out so that was sore."
Taufiq used his BMW’s voice command feature to call the ambulance. "I told the car the ambulance must come now."
Regarding people saying a lot of negative things about the accident, Taufiq says he never paid attention to any of it.
Hey Taufiq. pic.twitter.com/fIUvjo0jEQ
— Justin Wolfe (@justinwolfe9) February 14, 2019
"I understood their opinions, read all that stuff, but I didn’t take in any of the negativity. I just stayed positive. They didn’t really know what happened – I know what happened."
Would he ever get behind the wheel to race again?
"Yes," he answers without hesitation.
"I’ll drive again. I want to drive again. And when I race it won’t be illegal racing again. It’ll be legally, on a race track."
He adds that he’s watched both videos and it doesn’t bother him.
"It’s just like, ‘Wow, I’ve been through that’," he says.
"I’ve always been a positive person. What happened to me was meant to be, it was put out that way."
His wife, Ameerah, 23, says at first it didn’t sink in.
"I was in shock. When I go into shock, I go quiet. It was hard at first but because he’s so positive, it makes us stronger."
A criminal case of reckless and negligent driving has been opened against Carr.
Meanwhile, mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith, who admits he is a petrolhead at heart, was taken for a spin recently by Killarney commentator and driver Ernest Page.
In 2016, the City of Cape Town and Killarney had collaborated to try to take illegal racing off the streets by providing an event called "Robot Racing" every Wednesday for ordinary petrolheads from 6.30pm to 10pm.
"We must provide street racers with a space they can legally race, where they don’t have us on their backs, and they don’t have to look over their shoulder," he tells Page during the ride at the end of last month.
He also tells Page that perhaps they can look into extending the strip at Killarney to a top end one or perhaps hosting events at Wingfield or Ysterplaat every alternative week.