Danger spot claims life

2012-06-06 00:00

POPULAR Pennington businessman Hannes Grobler’s last hours were spent enjoying a day out with friends at a biking event at the Sezela Country Club.

On his way home on Saturday a car struck him at a dangerous intersection and he died in Scottburgh’s G.J. Crookes Hospital.

An hour before the accident, Grobler (49) had been joking and taking photos of his close friend, Dirk Booysens, and his wife.

Grobler, Booysens and two other friends, Leslie Prinsloo and Bernie Fick, were returning from the biking event when tragedy struck.

Booysens, who was riding ahead of Grobler, said he still could not believe what had happened.

“It was an unnecessary stupid, freak accident. We all left together and were riding in single file. Leslie and I were riding ahead.”

He said when he couldn’t see Grobler anymore he assumed he had slowed down for Fick to catch up.

“I headed home and as soon as I got there my wife asked me, ‘Where is Hannes?’ It wasn’t even 15 minutes. I told her that he was probably at home by now.”

His wife told him that she had received a call about Grobler being in an accident.

“I didn’t think it was serious. I thought maybe he had hit a dog or something like that. As I was approaching the scene I saw the blue lights. It’s a feeling I won’t forget.”

Grobler collided with it as it made a turn. His left leg was severed and he suffered severe injuries. “When I got there he was talking to his best friend Jaco, who was trying to keep him calm.”

Grobler was admitted to hospital where he died.

Booysens said that he passed a bakkie at an intersection on the R102 in Pennington.

“That intersection is very bad. You cannot see vehicles coming from either direction.

“According to some eyewitnesses, the bakkie took off after Leslie and I passed and then saw Hannes and hit dead brakes. But it was too late. Hannes couldn’t stop or swerve and he collided with the bakkie.”

He called Grobler “a great man”.

“You could do the worst thing to him, but he never held a grudge. I don’t even know how to face his three children when they arrive here from Pretoria. They spend every holiday down here with their dad. They loved him to bits.”

Jaco Odendaal, who has been friends with Grobler for 33 years, said he had not just lost his best friend but a brother. “We grew up together on neighbouring farms in Cullinan, near Pretoria, when we were little boys.”

Grobler and Odendaal arrived on the South Coast six years ago for the construction of the Pennington Mall.

“Hannes was involved in the construction and I did the administration.

“We ended up loving the South Coast so much that we decided to relocate and live here.”

“He was always very happy, whether things were going good or bad.

“He was a big man with a soft heart. He made so many friends in the short time that he has lived here.

“He will be missed dearly by all who have known him,” he added.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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