Lieutenant’s training run ends badly

2014-06-24 00:00

TO be promoted to captain in the army’s School of Armour, a lieutenant first has to drive a 28-wheel truck carrying a 65-ton Olifant tank down Van Reenen’s pass.

During such a test on Friday night, a female lieutenant reportedly missed a gear and the brakes overheated within 10 seconds, sending the truck careening down the pass.

The driver remained calm and steered her run-away rig into a sand trap. But the momentum of the 65 ton Olifant Mk 1 tank on the back simply sent the truck ploughing right through the sand trap and up an incline. That’s where the heavy tank then fell off the truck, landing upside down in the northbound lane.

Spokesperson for the army, Colonel Sidney Zeeman, confirmed lieutenants of the School of Armour in Bloemfontein were busy with practical training for their driving and maintenance course.

The female driver and an instructor were slightly injured during the crash. The army is now ingestigating the cause of the crash, Zeeman said.

The army secured the scene and contracters lifted the tank on Saturday. The whole process took 10 minutes.

The Armoured Corps has been using the pass for decades to train drivers.

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