The grieving sister of a young musician who was killed in a horror car crash earlier this year has opened up about the harrowing 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 Port Wakefield Highway, just north of Adelaide, on January 31, 2023.
It’s understood Ms Maxwell had tried to change lanes but overcorrected and skidded off the road, with her car ending up in the scrub of the highway median strip.
She had managed to climb out of the car before emergency services arrived but suffered severe internal injuries that took her life in hospital.
Since then, Ms Vlahiotis has urged drivers to be more cautious on the road.
Odetta Maxwell (left) was killed in a horror car crash north of Adelaide on January 31, her sister Isobel Vlahiotis (right) first heard about the crash on Facebook
It’s 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 had been casually scrolling through her phone that day when she saw a car that looked like her sister’s, a silver Mazda, had been involved in a serious crash.
She’d sent a screenshot of a news article about the crash to her family but admits she was thinking ‘thousands of people drive on that road, it couldn’t be’.
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 meant Dad,’ she told 7news.com.au.
‘I could hear the TV on in the background and thought it was Odetta and Dad talking.’
Ms Vlahiotis recalled feeling immediate relief and believed her little sister, who she considered more of a twin with just 18 months between them, was safe.
However, that consolation was snatched from her an hour later when she found 10 missed calls from her mother and another call coming through from her husband.
Ms Vlahiotis has spent time since Ms Maxwell’s crash (above) trying to encourage drivers to be more careful behind the wheel
He told her Ms Maxwell had been in an accident and was in hospital.
Before the crash, Ms Maxwell was a talented rising musician who found popularity on triple j Unearthed under the stage name Pink Wasabi.
She’d also recently enrolled in university to study neuroscience and philosophy and was planning on moving in with her girlfriend.
As Ms Vlahiotis arrived at the hospital waited for her parents, doctors were frantically trying to resuscitate Ms Maxwell.
It was there Ms Vlahiotis heard how serious her sister’s crash was through news bulletin on the emergency room TV.
‘Before I had been told what had happened, it was coming up on the TV that the girl who crashed was in a critical condition, fighting for life,’ she said.
‘I know the hospital staff didn’t want to deliver any news without Mum or Dad there.’
Both of Ms Maxwell’s (above) parents had suffered lifelong disabilities in seperate car crashes before she and her sister were born; Ms Maxwell took on the role of their carer when she wasn’t studying at uni or making music under her stage name, Pink Wasabi
In a vicious turn for the family, both of their parents had been involved in serious car crashes before Ms Maxwell and Ms Vlahiotis were born.
Their mother was hit by a car while on a pedestrian crossing when she was eight years old and their father was involved in a single-vehicle crash after suffering a mental health episode in 1991.
Both parents were left with different disabilities from the incidents and Ms Maxwell had worked as their part-time carer.
When Ms Vlahiotis was finally able to go in to see sister in the ICU unit on life support, she was shocked to see her sister didn’t look fatally injured.
‘She was just there, no scratches except one on her arm. She looked fine,’ she said.
Ms Vlahiotis (pictured right, on her wedding day with Ms Maxwell, left) recalled seeing her little sister in the ICU on life support, she was shocked the 25-year-old looked ‘fine’ despite her catastrophic internal injuries
After months of trying to come to terms with her little sister’s death, Ms Vlahiotis wants to borrow some of Ms Maxwell’s passion and determination to keep others safe on the road.
‘If there is any way I’m going to keep her alive it’s by keeping other people alive,’ she said.
‘Make the right choice when you are behind the wheel.
‘If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your family. If you won’t do it for your family, do it for Odetta.’