Boy sees brother run over

2008-11-14 00:00

A GRADE 3 pupil sprinting across the road to catch his lift was hit by a school taxi as his 10-year-old brother watched on helplessly yesterday afternoon.

He was the second Pietermaritzburg schoolboy to die this week in an accident involving school transport. A seven-year-old boy was killed on Wednesday when the taxi he was travelling in crashed.

Yesterday afternoon, Forest Hill Primary pupil Louis Wesley (8) was run over as he was trying to cross the road outside the school gate.

Netcare 911 paramedics tried to revive the boy, but he died in the middle of the road where he had fallen. It is believed that Louis was crossing the road to the other side, where his lift and his brother were waiting for him, when the minibus struck him. Teachers rushed to the scene and led Louis’s brother, Andiswa, away.

It is believed Louis was hit on the head by the vehicle’s bull bar. Blood stains had to be covered with sand where he lay.

The minibus was picking up children at the school and other vehicles were parked on either side of the road.

The taxi driver, Bonile Ngobese, said things happened fast. “A bakkie was parked on the left and another vehicle was parked on the opposite side of the road. As I was driving past the bakkie the child jumped into the road from in front of the bakkie and before I could do anything he was hit.”

She broke down as she related what happened. “I don’t know what to say … it’s painful. I don’t know what would I say to the parents, how are they going to handle this …” A parent who witnessed the accident said the boy was running across the road to a waiting vehicle.

Acting principal at the school, Aphonso Jasson, said the accident was a result of traffic congestion.

“We have put measures in place to protect our children, but taxi operators and people who come to pick up children park any how. We need them to exercise restraint and park properly.”

Jasson said the school erected a fence to keep pupils in the grounds until their transport arrives. “We are dealing with children here and sometimes when they see their transport they just bolt and cross the road without looking. This is very sad; I can’t believe I’m seeing this kind of accident”.

Jasson told Weekend Witness later that the parents were “too distraught” to speak to the media.

On Wednesday Tristan Naidoo (7) was killed when an unlicensed minibus taxi overturned and fell on top of him. Most of the emergency personnel who were at the Wednesday accident were also on the scene yesterday. Some said the accidents were having a traumatic effect on them.

Captain Dolf Otto of the SAPS collision unit said a case of culpable homicide has been opened.

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