Memory loss of Cape driver queried

2011-12-09 11:56

The validity of minibus taxi driver Jacob Humphreys’ memory loss of an accident which killed 10 children will have to be ruled upon, the Western Cape High Court heard today.

“What is strange for me is that he remembers the moment just before the accident but nothing else,” Judge Robert Henney said while listening to closing arguments.

He said it was his interpretation that Humphreys may not have stopped at the Buttskop level crossing in which a train hit his minibus.

The crash on August 25 last year killed Liesl August, 11; Cody Erasmus, 15; Jody Phillips, 13; Reece Smith, seven; Nolan February, 13; Michaelin de Koker, 11; Jason Pedro, 14; Nadine Marthinissen, 16; Jeane-Pierre Willeman, 13; and Jade Adams, 10.

Four children sustained various injuries.

Humphreys has pleaded not guilty to the deaths, saying he had no recollection of the accident.

He told the court last month that he saw the booms were down and stopped his vehicle after a small white car slipped in front of him.

The next thing he remembered was waking up and being taken to hospital.

Henney argued that if Humphreys’ car had stood still, the car in front of him should have been hit.

Speaking to defence lawyer Johann Engelbrecht, he said that if Humphreys disputed any theories by the State of what happened, it meant he could remember what happened.

Humphreys, dressed in green shirt and dark pants, wrung his hands while being told judgment would be passed on Monday.

He is out on R20 000 bail.

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