Car Accident of Marika Gombitová

Car Accident of Marika Gombitová
Car Accident of
Marika Gombitová
Participants Andrea B (driver)
Marika Gombitová
Location 43rd km of D1 Highway
near Podivín, Břeclav District, South Moravian Region, ČSSR
Date December 1, 1980 (1980-12-01)
Result Driver convicted of assault causing bodily harm

Marika Gombitová (born September 12, 1956 in Turany nad Ondavou, Czechoslovakia) is a Slovak recording artist who received her initial exposure as a female vocalist of the Modus band in the late 1970s.

Besides gaining fame for her subsequent solo career, she also became known as a road crash victim of a single-vehicle accident dated December 1, 1980.[1] Even though the singer survived, as a result of reckless driving caused by Andrea B she has suffered fatal injuries such as of backbone and spinal cord. Since then, Gombitová is therefore paralyzed from the 7th vertebral notch downwards. Following a six month recovery, the physically disabled artist returned to the spotlight, scoring new top rankings on the music charts, and even touring again. However, circumstances regarding her accident remain a subject of controversy.[2][3]




Sunday, on November 30, 1980, Modus was to perform their final concert in the original setup, which featured Janko Lehotský, Miro Žbirka, Marika Gombitová, Laco Lučenič and Dušan Hájek. The concert had to take place in the premises of a former club called ZK ROH Zbrojovka, located in Brno-Židenice, Czechoslovakia.[4] Although Gombitová had attempted to excuse her presence on the event addressing Lehotský earlier via phone, she joined the group as scheduled despite her initial complaint about feeling unwell.[5]

According to Nový čas that tried to reconstruct sequences of the events in the new millennium, Žbirka confirmed to leave the location in a Škoda 1000 MB along with Lučenič, while likely with [also] somebody else. Lehotský [should had been] in other vehicle of his own, accompanied by the rest of musicians [Hájek]. Gombitová herself occupied a superminiRenault 5 —, possessed and driven by her twenty-one year old friend named Andrea B, reportedly from West Germany.[6] By the midnight the cars set out from Brno separately, and even different ways to Bratislava.[7]

December 1, 1980

At approximately 1:00 am on December 1, 1980, the automobile carrying Gombitová got into a skid at the 43rd kilometre of the recently opened highway D1, i.e. 1 kilometre behind Podivín towards Břeclav. The vehicle had ran in the opposite direction and after a few somersaults ended up on its roof in a near field. While the driver [Andrea B] was only slightly injured, the trapped artist would be extricated by the called rescue crew from a wrecked car, sustaining multiple fatal wounds. Amongs them spinal cord injuries, ribs fracture, sternal fracture, broken backbone, respectively a little finger. Allegedly still conscious, Gombitová was rushed into the nearest hospital in Hustopeče and Andrea B interrogated by police patrol officers from the SNB.[2][3][8][9]


Gombitová — paralyzed from the 7th vertebral notch downwards — lost function over two thirds of her body,[11] including lower part of her lungs that would die out as well. After diagnosed with an acute pneumonia, she was transported to the Slovak Hospital Kramáre in Bratislava. Following four months spent mostly at the local neurosurgery, she was taken in April 1981 to the Rehabilitation Institute of Kladruby in the Czech Republic.[2] Her rehabilitation process later continued in German spa-town Bad Wildungen, respectively in Karlovy Vary in addition.[12] In 1982, the singer would undergo an exacting surgery in Moscow, Russia, however with no significant impact on her muscle immobilization.[2][13]


The case was examined by the Highway patrol in Podivín, which all available files including photographs shredded after a period of ten years in accordance with internal regulations.

A judicial investigation [should have] concluded that the crash was caused by Andrea B, who lost control of the car at high speed. Andrea B was, therefore, convicted of assault causing bodily harm and sentenced to prison.[2][14] However her physical imprisonment remains a matter of question as she immediately left the country. At the court, she should reportedly defend herself for excessing speed limit by claiming her visa was about to expire by the midnight of Sunday, November 30, 1980.[2][14]



In an effort to prevent from a national interest, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) imposed an embargo on the case. Public was informed about the accident with delay of two days, by means of an initial report printed in Mladá fronta on December 3, 1980. Apart from details, which confirmed a critical condition of the singer, the daily newspaper specified the chauffeur of the vehicle as "21 years old Andrea B from West Germany,"[6] who would not adapt speed limit to the snowy surface of the roadway. The article also included information that KS SNB in Brno launched a prosecution against the "foreign citizen."[6][15]

Due to all official reports were discarded in the meantime, mass media speculated either about a negligent driving or an alcohol-related traffic crash, respectively both.[2] Despite the personally identifiable information related to Andrea B remains undisclosed, Slovak Nový čas described the driver as an attractive blonde hopefully working in the fashion industry that disappeared to "no-guess-where.".[14] While the Czech authors of Gombitová's biography from 2008 would recognize Andrea B as "a receptionist at a luxury hotel, to which Gombitová should had been invited through the [art agency] Slovkoncert," for a change.[14] Other sources, such as Modus band's sound engineer Andrej Andrašovan, referred to the Renault's driver as a native-born citizen of the Switzerland whose car was solely licensed with a German VHR.[2][8] And Milan Drobný, a Czech fellow singer, defined Andrea B in addition to be[ing either] "that Austrian or German."[8][16]

Nočné lampy interview

In December 2000, Gombitová surprisingly appeared in Nočné lampy (English: Night Lamps), a former late night talk show, which was produced by CEM network Markíza. The 40 minute television program invited celebrity guests who had been involved in an extraordinary situation, and hosted by Jarmila Hargašová. Gombitová agreed to appear on the show likely due to a positive reception of her new song called "Prosba" (English: Appeal), preceded by her six years long absence. For the first time in twenty years since her accident, the singer outspokenly talked about her life in front of television cameras. Moreover, at the interview were present her crucial collaborators such as ex-members of the Modus band — Janko Lehotský and Miro Žbirka — as well as her past songwriters (Kamil Peteraj, Pavol Hammel and Marián Varga). Following a 15 minute introduction, during which Gombitová discussed her temporary comeback and rose to prominence, the subject of the conversation turned towards her accident. When finally asked to recall that date, she would react as follows:

I remember that day, even though it makes me sad thinking of it or when I'm questioned about. I remember that night, well, that afternoon when I called Janko [Lehotský], I mean by phone, that I feel very badly and [I] didn't want to go to the concert, if there's something [he] could do about. Of course it wasn't, there was a concert in Brno, so we went. It was very bad weather, I can remember that. But after the concert, there was so much sadness in the dressing room, because then, well, Meky [Žbirka] announced, I mean, that he's done with Janko and is leaving with Laco [Lučenič] to make a solo band. And I, actually, didn't know whom I belong to. It was a very sad moment, point. Well then, Janko didn't make a comment on anything and I, I didn't know, I mean, whether I'm staying with Janko or whom in fact. And that's how we actually split up, said good-byes and went home. And well then, it just happened what happened. That's how I recall it. I don't know, guys, if they want to have their say. I see it like this.[5]

Lehotský would not provide any commentary himself. Žbirka confirmed a bad state of the weather that day, while highlighting the band's sense of professional responsibility to perform that evening. He would add eventually "that highway had de facto been impassable."[5] The rest of the interview Gombitová rather talked about subsequent events, which led to her hospitalization than reconstructing the incident itself. Either Andrea B, or their common relation was mentioned in no way whatsoever in a publicly released version of the pre-filmed show.[5] According to the host, Hargašová visited Gombitová at home to discuss various topics in advance twice. At first about one year before the talk show,[17] while the second time one day prior to that. In an interview published in SME on May 18, 2001, Hargašová admitted that shortly before filming of the TV show she was asked by the exclusive artist not to go public about the subjects they discussed in advance in private.[18]

See also


  1. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 7
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Marika Gombitová's: Will She Return Yet Indeed?". 2005-09-17. Retrieved 2011-04-05.  (Slovak)
  3. ^ a b "Marika Gombitová's Car Accident: Details". Police Patrols and Radars. Policajné hliadky a radary. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-04-05.  (Slovak)
  4. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 104
  5. ^ a b c d "(TV) Nočné lampy". Markíza. YouTube. 2000-11. Retrieved 2011-10-07. (Slovak)
  6. ^ a b c Mladá fronta, issue 1980-12-03, Czechoslovakia. Retrieved 2011-10-08
  7. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil 2008, p. 105
  8. ^ a b c "Marika Gombitová: The Truth About The Accident That Tied Her To A Wheelchair". Aha!. Ringier Axel Springer CZ. 2008-11-02. Retrieved 2011-04-05.  (Czech)
  9. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 105-106
  10. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 110
  11. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 189
  12. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 128
  13. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 132-133
  14. ^ a b c d Graclík/Nekvapil 2008, p. 108
  15. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 103-204
  16. ^ Graclík/Nekvapil (2008), p. 96
  17. ^ Kizáková, Zuzana (2009-11-22). "Hargašová: Ženy dokážu skôr pohnúť hostí k spovedi". Pravda. Northcliffe International. Retrieved 2011-10-07. (Slovak)
  18. ^ Hriadelová, Miloslava (2001-05-18). "Jarka Hargašová v Nočných lampách provokuje nikdy nevypovedané veci". SME. Petit Press. Retrieved 2011-10-07. (Slovak)

Further reading

External links

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