‘Flying’ taxi crashes into truck, 2 die

2008-09-11 00:00

A taxi driver died instantly when his vehicle crashed into a truck driving in the opposite direction on Alexandra Road yesterday.

A taxi conductor — the only passenger — was declared dead by paramedics on the scene, but was later discovered to be alive. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

The accident happened between Azalea Gardens and the Southgate shopping centre at 6.15 am.

The taxi was driving towards France location and the truck towards the city centre.

Witnesses said that the taxi was “flying”. One of the witnesses, traffic officer Thembile Msomi, said: “I was driving behind the truck when a taxi approached the bend at a very high speed”.

It is alleged that the taxi driver managed to turn into the bend, but could not control the vehicle afterwards. “The taxi came flying towards the truck, and the truck driver tried to avoid colliding with it, but the taxi crashed and hung on to the back of the truck.”

Paramedics were called on to the scene and, on examining the injured, declared them dead.

Shortly after the paramedics had left the scene, a traffic officer from the Msunduzi traffic department, Malusi Gumede, discovered that one of the men was still breathing.

“I went to take a closer look, in case I recognised one of the dead men. When I got closer, the man coughed. He was alive.”

Msunduzi Municipality spokesman Senior Superintendent Kwenza Khumalo said the conductor was taken to hospital. The Witness discovered that he died later in hospital.

The road had to be closed for hours while emergency personnel cleared the scene and Msunduzi Municipality staff cleared debris and bloodstains off the road.

In another accident, two truck drivers were killed during a pile-up collision involving five trucks on the N3 near Nottingham Road.

The south bound lane was closed for most of the day and traffic was diverted.

A KZN Department of Transport spokeswoman said: “The accident was probably caused by the bad weather. The drivers died and two others received critical injuries.”

Emergency personnel had to use the jaws of life to release the drivers who were trapped in the wrecked vehicles. The accident happened before 8 am and by 4 pm, the road was still closed.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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