Horror crash leaves 15 injured

2009-05-07 00:00

Fifteen people were hurt in a horror crash when the taxi they were travelling in lost control and ended up under the Camperdown bridge shortly before midday yesterday.

Bound for Ixopo, the taxi veered up a 45-degree embankment alongside the N3 northbound lane and rolled several times before coming to a stop on its side.

According to a source at the scene, the driver had been speaking on his cellphone before he lost control of the taxi and veered off the road.

Of the 15 passengers who sustained injuries, one was in a critical condition and eight were seriously injured.

The six others suffered minor injuries.

Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said paramedics had their hands full trying to stabilise the injured before taking them to hospitals in Pietermaritzburg.

“What’s sad is that many of these passengers were destined for Ixopo to deliver monthly groceries and now all their money has been wasted,” said Botha.

When The Witness arrived at the scene, beans, loaves of bread, fish fingers, vegetables, shoes, biscuits and empty alcohol bottles were strewn all around the accident scene.

A shattered windscreen, broken glass and bloodstains littered the site and motorists were delayed as emergency officials cleared up the accident scene.

“Traffic was backed up for kilometres and I battled to get through it to get to the scene,” said Botha.

A policeman at the scene said they would not be taking any action against the driver as yet, but were investigating the matter.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department spokeswoman Nonkululeko Mbatha said they suspect that the cause of the accident was due to human error.

However, the department will be conducting an investigation regarding the roadworthiness of the vehicle.

“We wish those that have been injured a speedy recovery,” she said.

In a later accident, a Toyota Tazz collided with a truck on Ohrtmann Road just before the N3 southbound onramp yesterday evening.

The accident happened at about 6 pm and, according to Botha, there were no injuries to occupants of either of the vehicles.

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