Fire truck driver runs over toddler

2011-07-11 00:00

A TWO-YEAR-OLD boy died on his way to Northdale Hospital after he was hit by a 4x4 driven by a firefighter at the New Hanover fire station yesterday morning.

The chief officer of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality’s fire department, Billy Paton, said it was a freak accident that led to the death of Lusanda Chonco.

“Our officer on standby had just finished cleaning the vehicle and he switched off the tap, then locked the doors of the fire station.

“As he got into the car he reversed because at the time he thought there was nobody besides him at the station,” said Paton.

He said the firefighter realised that he had bumped into something as he was reversing and he discovered it was the toddler.

“He is traumatised because our job is about saving lives and he has been responsible for the death of a toddler.”

Paton said they suspect that the toddler had strayed from his parents, who were about 50 metres away when the incident took place, into the fire station without the officer seeing him.

Paton sent their condolences to the bereaved family.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident and said a case of culpable homicide has been opened.

No arrests have been made. He

Zwane said that after the investigations have been completed the matter will be taken to the public prosecutor for a decision on whether to prosecute.

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