Four killed as N3 taxi smashes into truck

2009-08-11 00:00

FOUR people were killed when the taxi in which they were travelling hit a truck at full speed on the N3 north-bound near Hilton yesterday.

Two of dead were minors.

Chris Hlabisa, the head of the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department, said the 56-ton truck involved in the accident was trying to overtake another truck at the time.

“We were led to believe that the truck tried to overtake another truck and moved into the middle lane of the highway.

“The taxi had been travelling at full speed behind it.”

For some reason, said Hlabisa, “the truck came to a standstill …”

The taxi driver swerved to avoid a head-on collision and smashed into truck.

The collision “tore open the entire right-hand side of the taxi, killing the four passengers instantly”, said Hlabisa.

One of the minors killed in the crash was about five years old; the other was between the age of seven and 10.

The other two passengers who died were elderly women.

Fourteen people, including the driver, were in the taxi at the time.

ER24 spokesman Derrick Banks said that when emergency services arrived at the scene, they found a taxi up against the truck and passengers lying everywhere in the road.

“ER24 advanced life support paramedics Paul Knoesan and Travis Trower were directed to two patients that were ejected from the taxi and went down a steep, 10-metre embankment,” said Banks.

“Both patients were in a critical condition and needed advanced life intervention.”

Inspector Jack Haskins from SAPS K9 Search and Rescue was called in to help set up specialised rope equipment to help get the injured passengers up to the road.

They were taken to Edendale hospital in a critical condition.

Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said two other passengers sustained serious injuries and the other five sustained only minor injuries.

All were taken to hospitals in the Pietermaritzburg area, Botha added.

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