Court inspects horror crash site

2013-05-28 00:00

IT was a “dangerous and gruesome” task for rescuers who helped the injured and retrieved the bodies of taxi passengers who died in a horror crash on the old Greytown Road near Copesville in September 2011.

This was said by Captain Dolf Otto, commander of the police accident unit, at the trial of taxi driver Khululeka Bongani Gwala (23), who faces 15 counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder of the crash survivors.

Gwala pleaded not guilty before acting Judge Piet Bezuidenhout yesterday.

His lawyer, Mohamed Motala, said Gwala will claim that faulty brakes on his taxi caused the accident.

However, state advocate Candy Kander said the prosecution will show that Gwala realised a collision might occur, resulting in death or injury, when he crossed a double-barrier line onto the wrong side of the road, and was reckless as to the consequences.

She said the prosecution will lead evidence of the crash survivors, eye witnesses, and experts to prove its case.

Kander said the testimony will show that Gwala’s Toyota Quantum taxi was overloaded and was speeding when it crossed the double-barrier line into oncoming traffic on a blind corner.

The taxi hit an oncoming articulated truck and trailer, carrying an empty container. Both vehicles plunged down an embankment, the truck coming to rest on top of the taxi.

The state also alleges in its indictment that Gwala knew that the brakes of his taxi were not fully functional and that the taxi wasn’t roadworthy that day. It says he had realised that he might endanger the lives of his passengers and other road users, and reconciled himself to that eventuality.

Otto, who retraced Gwala’s journey from Cramond, took measurements, prepared sketches, and took photographs of the accident scene that were shown in court on a big screen yesterday. He said emergency services had to get to work directly under the wheel of the truck, which was balancing on top of the taxi.

This was both a dangerous and gruesome task, he said.

The jaws of life were used to extricate people trapped in the wreckage.

Otto said damage to the front left of the truck proved the taxi was in its path and travelling on the wrong side of the road when the vehicles collided, as witnesses alleged.

Shortly before colliding with the truck, Gwala’s taxi also allegedly “side-swiped” a stationary car in a line of vehicles he overtook while they were queuing at the busy intersection during peak hour traffic. Otto said the speed limit in the area was 60 km/h.

The case is proceeding..

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.