Bourke Street crash survivor Paul Kardis breaks his silence after Zain Khan allegedly run him over
A man who suffered a broken neck when he was struck down during the fatal Bourke Street rampage says he’s ‘grateful’ to have survived the ordeal.
Paul Kardis was strolling through Melbourne‘s CBD with his brother on Friday night on the way to the MCG to watch the football, when a car mounted the footpath and sent him flying into the air.
Police allege a Toyota driven by Zain Khan t-boned a white Hyundai, then rammed a grey Mazda at the intersection of Bourke and Russell streets before hitting four others, including Mr Kardis, on the footpath.
Tragically, the 76-year-old driver of the Hyundai, grandfather and philanthropist John Haasz, died from injuries sustained in the impact. The others were rushed to hospital.
Khan has been charged with 10 offences including murder.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Kardis said he cannot remember what happened after waking up on Saturday ‘in a daze’ and surrounded by medical staff.
He suffered head trauma as well as a shattered pelvis and a broken neck.
‘Apparently I did fly like five or six metres in the air when I got clipped [by the car],’ he told 7News.
‘I’m hopefully on the road to recovery.’
Mr Kardis will wear a neck brace for six weeks and has been told his body cannot bear any weight for eight weeks.
‘Then hopefully once it gets to three or four months I can commence walking again.’
Despite the trauma and pain he’s suffered, he knows it could have been infinitely worse.
Paul Kardis was run down in the chaos that left one driver dead and four others in hospital last Friday, suffering a broken neck and ‘shattered’ pelvis. Pictured: bystanders helped pedestrians run down in Bourke Street
Accused driver Zain Khan is pictured sitting on the hood of his car just metres from the wreck of John Haasz’s car. Mr Haasz died at the scene
‘I’m not bitter about it, I’m very grateful for still being here,’ he said.
‘This isn’t just about me. This is about one person who lost their life and another three or four injured.’
Sadly, Mr Haasz, whose white Hyundai was struck by Khan’s Toyota, died at the scene.
He was only 5km from his Brunswick East home when the tragedy occurred on Friday at 6:20pm.
Mr Haasz was well known for making charitable donations to the arts and sciences and championing equality at Melbourne University.
He also funded several prizes and programs at the university, and gave money to Wesley College, the Victorian Opera, the Australian National Academy of Music.
He also donated to the Australian Centre for Moving Image.
In 2008 he gave $100,000 to the University of Melbourne’s astrophysics research and study group.
The academic funded three physics scholarships each year each worth up to $5000.
Last year he funded the Women in Science Emerging Researcher (WISER) Awards at Melbourne University for 2021 and 2022.
Floral tributes were left for grandfather and philanthropist John Haasz, whose white Hyundai was struck by Khan’s Toyota, killing him
Khan allegedly struck three pedestrians moments before he crashed into two cars, killing one driver
The sad aftermath of the chaos on Melbourne’s Bourke Street last Friday evening