Suicide drama on N1 highway

2011-09-26 09:31

Bloemfontein – The wife of a Bloemfontein school principal drove her vehicle in front of a truck on the N1 highway yesterday, but when that didn’t kill her, she got out and ran in front of a smaller truck.

The suicide drama took place at an intersection of the N1 about 50km outside Bloemfontein.

Nicolene Hugo (51), wife of Dawie Hugo, the principal of the Lettie Fouché school in Bloemfontein, was apparently upset when she left their flat at the school boarding house on Sunday morning after arguing with her eldest daughter.

She went for a drive “to clear her head”.

Friends said she suffered from depression.

ER24 paramedics and police were on the scene shortly after she tried to drive into a truck at about 11:30.

The yellow truck, which was transporting cattle, swerved to miss her and only scratched her white Nissan bakkie.

Shortly afterwards, when people tried to help her, she ran in front of a smaller, oncoming truck.

Suzane Wille and her husband, James, told how they had left church and were going to visit friends on their farm when they witnessed the first attempt.

“There was no way that she could not have seen the truck. He tried to avoid the accident.”

Wille said Hugo’s bakkie came to a stop in a ditch on the other side of the highway after the first collision. She said Hugo was badly shocked.

“We immediately went to her. I got out and tried to help her out of the ditch. She wanted me to leave her. At the top she pulled free and started walking on the highway.

“I had to let her go because she would have pulled me in front of the cars. She probably shouted about twice: ‘I’d rather run in front of a car. No one can help me!’

“I said we would help her. She was just too strong. I called 10111.”

Moments later they heard the impact of the second truck hitting her.

Annerie Maeder, a friend and colleague of the Hugos, said Nicolene was an extremely loyal person towards her family and friends.

She said Nicolene had told her that she and her husband would have been married for 30 years on December 19.

“She told me: ‘Do you know, for the first time things are going well with us. Please look after my husband if something happens to me.’”

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