‘Don’t use emergency lane’

2009-10-28 00:00

FLAMES engulfed three vehicles involved in a horrific accident near Camperdown that left five people dead and two others critically injured yesterday.

Five cases of culpable homicide have been opened in connection with the case, said police.

The accident occurred at 4 am and traffic on the N3 near Camperdown came to a standstill for hours as the scene was cleared.

It is alleged that two cars belonging to Malawians had pulled over in the emergency lane before a timber truck ploughed into them, totally destroying both cars and killing five of its occupants.

Said Andreas Mathios, a cameraman for the SABC, “What made this scene so horrific was that these victims did all the right things and paid with their lives.”

According to Netcare911 spokesman Jeff Wicks, the force of the impact resulted in one of the cars being crushed beneath the wheels of the truck. The second car was wedged under the front bumper of the truck.

“Following the smash, one of the cars caught fire, causing all three to go up in flames,” Wicks said.

Four of the dead were trapped in the wreckage of the first car. All had been burnt beyond recognition.

Two occupants of the second car managed to escape after impact. “They sustained possible head and spinal injuries and have been taken to an area hospital for further medical care,” he added.

“The truck driver was uninjured.”

Traffic police have yet to find out why the truck was driving in the emergency lane.

No arrests have been made. Investigations are under way.

An AA spokesman, Gary Ronald, warned that motorists should not park on the emergency lane of freeways at night unless they have broken down.

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