Four jump from runaway taxi

2010-08-27 00:00

AN elderly woman and three other passengers jumped out of a runaway taxi when it experienced brake failure in Pietermaritzburg yesterday afternoon.

The four escaped through windows as the taxi accelerated down Vubamasi Street, KwaPata, before crashing into a house at about 1 pm.

The driver and another elderly woman in the front seat were still inside the taxi when it crashed.

It was going up the road when it suddenly went into reverse.

ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said the commuters and conductor panicked when they realised that the driver was struggling to control the taxi.

One man suffered a partial amputation of his leg, while the others had fractures and abrasions, Banks said.

The owner of the one-room house, Ntombize Madlala, said she was inside when she heard a big bang.

“I saw lots of dust coming up and heard someone shouting that I must run away. I ran into my parents’ house [nearby],” she said.

Unemployed Madlala, who makes a living by selling sjamboks, is concerned that her house might collapse as the walls are cracked.

“My husband and I are moving to my parents’ house because this house in now unsafe to live in,” she said.

Mhlaba Ndlovu said he saw the taxi crashing into Madlala house.

“Had it not slowed down after hitting the the fence it was going to crush the house,” he said.

Ndlovu and his brother Dumsani pulled the driver and the elderly woman out of the wrecked vehicle.

“The driver told us that he could not stop the taxi after it had brake failure,” said Ndlovu.

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