A South African girl who survived a criminal attack that shocked the nation was among those killed when a train hit a school van this week, a family spokesman said Friday.
Liesel Augis was only six years old when she was raped, beaten unconscious with a brick and thrown into a fire by a family friend in 2006. She survived and became known as “Little Rock” because of her strength and resilience.
On Wednesday, Liesel’s bus driver went around a closed railroad crossing gate and the van was hit by a train. Nine children died at the scene in Cape Town, and a 10th died Friday. Only the driver and four children survived.
Family spokesman Malvern de Bruyn said that Liesel had a zest for life, and the accident has left a deep scar in the family and the nation.
“We could see she was someone who wanted to defy anything that would cut her life,” de Bruyn said.
Liesel’s 2006 attacker, Abraham James, was sentenced to 28 years in jail without parole.