Eleven killed as taxi rolls and hits truck on N2

2011-08-12 00:00

ELEVEN people died in a gruesome accident on the N2 southbound between Mandeni and Nyoni after a minibus taxi collided head-on with a heavy- duty truck yesterday afternoon.

The 16-seater taxi apparently rolled over the median after a tyre burst and and hit the truck.

Among the deceased is a nine-month-old baby.

The taxi was headed for Ulundi from Durban station.

Paramedics said the injured and the dead were scattered over a large area of the roadway.

ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said nine people were certified dead when paramedics arrived and two others died later at the scene.

Two patients are in a critical condition and need advanced life support.

Another patient was airlifted by the Health Department Air Ambulance Service to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Memorial Hospital in Durban.

The remaining four patients, including the truck driver, were all treated for serious injuries, including possible neck and back injuries and broken limbs.

The taxi driver is among the deceased.

KwaZulu-Natal transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said that about 30 people have died on the roads in the space of two weeks.

“Recently nine people died in Kokstad in an accident involving public transport. We are trying our best to curb these accidents, and yes, the public transport industry is also trying to do the same.

“But we will have to engage the provincial representatives of the South African National Taxi Council [Santaco] and go back to the drawing board. We acknowledge and appreciate their efforts such as coming up with campaigns such as Operation Hlokomela and other efforts.

“However, we can’t run away from the stark reality that these gruesome accidents on our roads involve public transport,” said Ncalane.

In another accident three people were injured when two bakkies collided on the freeway near the Ashburton turn-off.

One person was with the aid of the jaws of the life. The freeway was blocked for a while, causing traffic to back up for about three kilometres to the Market Road turn-off.

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