Dragged to her death

2009-04-14 00:00

A 61-year-old walker died after she was hit by a car believed to be driven by a 47-year-old unlicensed driver in Mountain Rise yesterday morning.

Kantharuby Reddy died in hospital following the horrific accident in which she was dragged for about 50 metres by a speeding Nissan Sentra from a traffic light on the corner of Manning Avenue and Royston Road.

Paramedics managed to revive Reddy after a lengthy resuscitation process on the scene before they rushed her to St Anne’s Hospital, where she died on arrival. Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said Reddy suffered severe head injuries.

Reddy and a long-time friend and neighbour, Neran Chetty (70), were doing their regular morning walking exercise along Manning Avenue when tragedy struck. Chetty said it was about 5.15 am and the two were crossing at the Manning Avenue traffic light when the car appeared.

“We were in the middle of the road when I saw something was approaching. I told [Reddy] to run because something was approaching at a high speed.”

The traumatised Chetty said she heard a thud and when she turned back her friend was lying 50 metres from the intersection.

“I was just lucky to have escaped,” she said. Chetty ran into the Mountain Rise mosque to seek help and people who were there for the morning worship phoned for an ambulance.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said the car stopped 200 metres from where it hit Reddy. The driver is also believed to be a paraplegic, but Budhram could not confirm or deny any of the allegations about the driver.

Chetty and Reddy have been walking companions for 13 years and have never taken chances when crossing the road on their one-hour walks in the mornings.

“We have always been very careful, because we can’t trust these drivers, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.” Chetty lives four houses down the road from Reddy’s house on Eagle Road, Willowton.

Reddy’s nephew, Gordon Reddy, said his aunt was a caring and loving person. “She was a person who always helped everyone, but put her own needs second. She always extended her hand in helping the sick and frail.”

Friends and family flocked to Eagle Road following the news of Reddy’s death yesterday morning.

The front yard was packed with cars as family and friends came to convey their condolences.

Outside, people were discussing the tragedy while children hovered around, unaware of exactly what was happening around them.

Inside, family members and friends sat discussing the incident. Eyes were filled with tears and voices were cracking with emotion.

Elderly men sat in the lounge and spoke about Reddy and what a caring, thoughtful woman she was.

She is survived by her husband Marie Reddy and their three daughters — Desiree, who is a doctor in Australia, Denisha, a teacher in Durban, and Yashika, who is a lawyer in Pietermaritzburg.

Budhram said the police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.

“A case of culpable homicide has been opened,” he said.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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