Accidents involving minibus taxis leave 27 injured

2011-02-24 00:00

TWENTY-SEVEN commuters, including pupils and a pregnant woman, were injured in two accidents involving taxis in Pietermaritzburg yesterday afternoon.

Traffic officials and eyewitnesses said both accidents resulted from negligent driving.

At the corner of Prince Alfred Street and Braid Road near Princes Gate there was a collision between fully loaded minibus taxis — a Toyota Quantum and an Inyathi — at about 5.30 pm.

Eyewitnesses, who live in nearby flats, demanded the erection of speed humps.

It is alleged that the Inyathi driver, who was driving up Braid Street, failed to stop at the intersection when the Quantum travelling up Prince Alfred Street had right of way.

The Inyathi was coming from France near Imbali to pick up commuters in the CBD while the Quantum was on the way to Scottsville.

“I saw about eight people from the Quantum being thrown out of the vehicle as it was overturning.

“The driver of the Inyathi did not stop as he was supposed to,” said motorist Sphiwe Mchunu, who witnessed the accident.

A number of pupils in green school uniforms were also injured.

“I know one of the victims is pregnant,” said a onlooker.

The driver of the Inyathi, Bongani Mkhize, escaped without visible injuries although repeatedly complaining of pains.

Paramedics from province, Netcare911 and ER24 and Msunduzi Municipality’s firefighters rushed to the scene to rescue trapped passengers.

“Paramedics explained that people from the taxi were lying on the road surface when they arrived.

“Most of the patients sustained multiple cuts and bruises,” said ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak.

Fourteen people were injured when a minibus taxi and a VW Polo collided at the corner of Reggie Hadebe and Gladys Manzi roads at about 4.45 pm.

A traffic officer from Msunduzi Municipality said the female driver of the Polo failed to stop at the intersection for the taxi, which was travelling towards Richmond.

“Netcare911 paramedics arrived at the scene to find one commuter still trapped in the twisted frame of the taxi.

“While firemen used the jaws of life to free the injured, medics worked tirelessly to stabilise the wounded passengers,” said Chris Botha.

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