The grieving sister of a young musician killed in a horror car crash earlier this year has spoken of the heartbreaking moment she found out about the accident on Facebook.
Isobel Vlahiotis lost her “incredible” and selfless sister, Odetta Maxwell, 25, in a horror crash along the Port Wakefield Highway, just north of Adelaide, on January 31, 2023.
It is understood Ms Maxwell had attempted to change lanes but overcorrected and skidded off the road, with her car ending up in scrub in the highway’s median strip.
She managed to get out of the car before help arrived, but suffered serious internal injuries which cost her her life in hospital.
Ms Vlahiotis has since urged drivers to be more careful on the road.
Odetta Maxwell (left) was killed in a horrific car crash north of Adelaide on January 31. His sister Isobel Vlahiotis (right) first heard about the accident on Facebook.
It is believed Ms Maxwell (pictured with her car) was trying to change lanes when she overcorrected and crashed, leaving her with fatal internal injuries.
Ms. Vlahiotis was casually scrolling through her phone that day when she saw that a car that looked like her sister’s, a silver Mazda, had been involved in a serious accident.
She had sent a screenshot of a news article about the crash to her family, but admits she thought “thousands of people are driving on this road, it’s not possible.”
Soon after, Ms. Vlahiotis called her mother, but was met with more confusion than answers.
“When I asked if everyone was there, she said yes. She must have thought I was talking about dad,” she said. 7news.com.au.
“I could hear the TV in the background and I thought it was Odetta and Dad talking.”
Ms. Vlahiotis remembers feeling immediate relief and thinking that her little sister, whom she considered more of a twin only 18 months apart, was safe.
However, that consolation was taken from her an hour later when she discovered 10 missed calls from her mother and another call from her husband.
Ms Vlahiotis has spent time since Ms Maxwell’s accident (above) trying to encourage drivers to be more careful behind the wheel.
He told her that Ms. Maxwell had been in an accident and was in hospital.
Before the crash, Ms. Maxwell was a talented rising musician who gained popularity on triple j Unearthed under the stage name Pink Wasabi.
She had also recently enrolled in college to study neuroscience and philosophy and was planning to move in with her girlfriend.
As Ms. Vlahiotis arrived at the hospital waiting for her parents, doctors frantically tried to resuscitate Ms. Maxwell.
It was there that Ms. Vlahiotis learned of the seriousness of her sister’s accident from a news bulletin broadcast on emergency television.
“Before I knew what had happened, we heard on television that the girl who had crashed was in critical condition and fighting for her life,” she said.
“I know the hospital staff didn’t want to give any news without mom or dad.”
Both of Ms. Maxwell’s parents (above) had suffered lifelong disabilities in separate car accidents before she and her sister were born; Ms. Maxwell took on the role of caregiver when she wasn’t studying at university or making music under her stage name, Pink Wasabi.
In a sharp turn for the family, both of their parents had been involved in serious car accidents before Ms. Maxwell and Ms. Vlahiotis were born.
Their mother was hit by a car while crossing a pedestrian crossing when she was eight and their father was involved in a single-vehicle accident after suffering a mental health problem in 1991.
Both parents were left with different disabilities following the incidents and Ms Maxwell had worked as a part-time carer.
When Ms. Vlahiotis was finally able to check on her sister in the intensive care unit on life support, she was shocked to see that her sister did not appear fatally injured.
“She was right there, no scratches except one on her arm. She looked good,” she said.
Ms Vlahiotis (pictured right, on her wedding day to Ms Maxwell, left) remembers seeing her little sister in intensive care on life support. She was shocked that the 25-year-old looked “fine” despite her catastrophic internal injuries.
After months of trying to come to terms with the death of her little sister, Ms. Vlahiotis wants to borrow some of Ms. Maxwell’s passion and determination to keep others safe on the road.
“If there’s any way I can keep her alive, it’s by keeping other people alive,” she said.
“Make the right choice when you’re behind the wheel.
“If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family. If you don’t do it for your family, do it for Odetta.