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'The car crash that lost me my model-looks, my boyfriend, my memory and my life as it used to be'

By 0 and 0 and 0
13 March 2018


The crash left her totally blind, so she cannot notice the difference everyone else sees in how she looked then, and how she is now. Picture: @kapustinairina__

In summer 2016, Maria, now 23, wore a turquoise dress for her prom after she graduated with honours from her university in Novosibirsk.

Today she doesn’t remember it. In fact, two years are wiped from her memory. 

Nor does she see the changes.

Among other devastating conditions, the crash left her totally blind, so she cannot notice the difference everyone else sees in how she looked then, and how she is now.

Maria Lebedeva

Maria Lebedeva

She lost all of her past life, her hopes and dreams, her beauty, her fun-filled life.

'2016 and 2015 have entirely gone,' she said. 'I remember my second year at university but not the final one... I wanted to study law later but didn't make it.'

Among the missing memories is the appalling car crash that wrecked her life on the evening of 20 August 2016.

Maria - her friends call her Masha - was 30 minutes late and her boyfriend of four years, Andrey, got angry, as she knows now from friends.

'I was told that we had arguments,' she said. 'I am actually not surprised, he's very impulsive.

'I phoned him and told him not to wait for me and that I'd go home on my own because I knew he'd be angry. 

'We were not rushing anywhere that evening, and he was with a friend... But I was late and when I came he was angry.

'When I got in the car, he was yelling at me.’

A friend of Andrey’s was present and has testified to the couple arguing. 

At some point when the traffic lights turned red, Andrey speeded up to 80 kph to jump the signals -  but crashed into an off road car that was turning left. 

Maria was the only one injured in the accident.

Maria Lebedeva

Maria Lebedeva

Maria Lebedeva

Maria Lebedeva

Maria Lebedeva

Maria at her prom

In summer 2016, Maria, now 23, wore a turquoise dress on photos from her prom after she graduated with honours from her university in Novosibirsk.

Air bags helped Andrey and his friend sitting in the front seats.

Masha suffered brain and pelvic injuries.

'For ten days she was in a coma,' said her father Eduard Lebedev. 'I wish I’d had fractures rather than brain traumas,' said Masha, who initially could not remember what happened ten minutes ago. 

At first Andrey visited her in hospital. Then he stopped. Her parents eventually sued him for one million roubles ($17,600) to cover medical costs. They wanted double but the court refused. 

Maria Lebedeva with boyfriend

Maria and her boyfriend Andrey. 

She also receives a monthly social benefit payment of 12,000 roubles, or $210. 

'We're not blaming him,’ said her father. 'But he could have just phoned and asked how she was.’

Masha is less sanguine. 

'He wasn't there for me when I needed his support,' she said. 'He told me: 'Do you think I am the only one guilty in the accident? We are both guilty'.

'I was so angry when I heard that. It was as if he didn't feel guilty at all. He didn't regret or apologise, it is disgusting to remember….'

She lost all of her past life, her hopes and dreams, her beauty, her fun-filled life, but also learned that she didn’t have as many friends as she thought. 

It wasn’t only about Andrey. 

Maria and her sister Irina

Maria and her sister Irina

Maria with her sister Irina Kapustina before and after the crash. Pictures: @kapustinairina__

'You know, I loved traveling, not staying at home. I was into dancing and running. It hurt me so much when I disappeared for everyone.

'Now I realise I didn't have many friends, I had many acquaintances.' 

Today only her loyal school friend Dasha is there for her everyday, along with her parents.

'I miss my independence the most,’ she said. 'I feel blind when I walk with a stick. I can hear how people pity me, specially old ladies. I feel defective.

'I can hear better than I could before the accident - and sometimes it really annoys me, the things I hear.'

Her cousin Irina Kapustina - who highlighted Masha’s plight - said: 'She is blind and wakes up as well as goes to bed in pain.'

She sometimes get depressed about her plight.

Maria Lebedeva Maria Lebedeva

'She is blind and wakes up as well as goes to bed in pain.' Pictures: @kapustinairina__

But she also dreams of overcoming her considerable handicaps.  

'I want to be a flight attendant,' she says. 

Maria has been treated in five different clinics in a year with mixed results. 

'But we are not losing hope and are hopeful things get better. Masha is now receiving experimental treatment. Apart from that she will also undergo rehabilitation and various treatments, and the family needs financial help.'

Specifically she is undergoing stem cell treatment in her native Novosibirsk to try and bring back her sight. But she also has spinal problems, and it hurts her to walk, sit, go to the toilet and change position.

If you would like to help Maria, please submit your donations to the PayPal account: tagged MARIA.

Comments (10)

I find the emphasis on her looks to be in really bad taste, but entirely predictable. If she wasn't what you think of as sexually attractive would this be any less tragic?
Andrew, United Kingdom
29/03/2020 09:52
Terrible story, may I suggest friends and family set up utube, instagram pages etc to publicise Maria's story, recovery and to raise funds. Keep praying, God bless.
Zoe Norris, Northampton Uk
12/04/2018 00:33
That was horrible story.:( How lost her beauty?
She was beautiful and lovely girl. ♥♥
დიმა კაპანაძე, Rustavi,Georgia
05/04/2018 13:03
What a horable horable story! This poor girl was stunningly beautiful! However her boyfriend looks like piece of crap. Ordinary, ugly, low life Russian boy... Love stinks. Instead of being with somebody who could treat her right she was with this ugly boy who actually was the only reason she got so badly hurt. What a change! Sad sad story.
Sergey, Fort Lauderdale, FL
21/03/2018 02:07
Average cost to me for full comprehensive car insurance would be from 500euro to 3000euro, to tax my car would be from 150euro to 400euro, & driving license would cost me 90euro for ten years. I have to renew my insurance & tax every year. And if you are accident free for 5 years you get 50% accident free bonus. So you insurance cost would be cut in half, which is an incentive to drive carefully & to realise your car is just like a gun, "it can kill". And no sane person would want to be carrying that on their conscience for the rest of their life, if it happened. We also have a "Rules of the Road" that every driver has to know off by heart & we can be called in for re-examination to government learner centres at any time for evaluation of our knowledge of same.
Jaker, Dundalk
18/03/2018 08:46
pease take out theat bikini shot on the beach. it is heavily photoshopped and has nothing to do with the article. this is in my opinion just -clickbait-. if she would be shown - naturally- well, so be it. but such an unnatural figure,....
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
18/03/2018 08:38
Ed, Russia

Hi, In my country if you're a passenger (say me) in someone's car & that someone driving has an accident that causes me to have injury's from whiplash to life threatening injuries then the injured person (me, in this case) can claim from the drivers insurance either through a solicitor for whiplash & other minor injury's or through a solicitor through the courts for a major injury, like anything that would have a profound effect on my future and the compensation increases the worse the injury. Say, if I was confined to a wheelchair & the costs of my medical expenses was for all my life I would be taken care of. This could be up to 15,000,000 euros, depending on the injuries & how the judge/s see it & that money would be put in a trust for to be used as needed. To break it down, my care in hospital would be paid for, if I needed carers to come to my home after been released from hospital that would be taken care of, my living expenses would be even for a life time would be awarded to me. Which would mean I wouldn't have to worry about having no money or not getting the medical care needed in future.

On the other hand if I only had say, whiplash, I would get a sum from (500 up to 10,000) for my pain, for wages for the weeks off work,medicine, etc. Depending what my doctors report says. That's why car insurance is compulsory in my country so as to pay for being in a car accident, anyone with out insurance caught driving can be fined, banned from driving for 10/20 year or jailed or all three together. So you see, Insurance is good for the unexpected happenings you never think will happen & it pays to have it.
Jaker, Dundalk
18/03/2018 08:24
Jaker, car insurance and life insurance and disability these are different things.

Life insurance voluntary and most people do not want to pay for such risks.

Сar insurance 2 types: mandatory for damage to someone else's car in the case of a road accident (OSAGO) and voluntary insurance the damage of their own car through their own fault or theft (KASKO). KASKO is much bigger cost. Please do not insert Putin if people don't want buying life insurance.
ED, Russia
16/03/2018 17:46
The boyfriend sounds like such a swell guy (sarcasm) ...
Jack, USA
16/03/2018 17:29
Is car insurance in Russia compulsory, and if not why not? The guy in this case rushed through a red light and at speed like he was driving through hell. If he had insurance could the lady claim from his insurance company to cover for medical costs, future treatment & personal injuries which are major from this accident. And then there's the fact that she now can't do any study at university or work at any job for a very long time if ever & should be accrued compensation for that as well.

If this accident was in my country the least she would receive from his insurance company or from a court to start with, going with the injuries she has...would be 300,000 to 500,000 euros. In America, you could be looking at compensation starting in the millions of dollars the way the laws work there. So Russia...would need to catch up with the rest of the world regards car insurance payouts. And victims like MARIA should be properly looked after by the Insurers/Insurance Company's.
Jaker, Dundalk
16/03/2018 12:03

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