Sigh of relief as missing man alive and well, car recovered

2013-01-18 00:00

THE man who was believed to have drowned when a car was swept off the Woodhouse Road low-level bridge on Thursday last week is alive and well.

There was a collective sigh of relief that there was no body in the red Ford Laser Tracer when it was recovered yesterday, exactly a week after the raging waters had swept the car into the river after a heavy downpour.

The police search-and -rescue diving team used a utility line to pull the car from the stream after it had sunk to a depth of two metres, 300 metres downstream from the bridge.

Mfana Ndlovu (25), who was driving the car on the night of the accident, said they are all doing fine after their near-death experience.

He said that they were also over the moon that they had been reunited with their missing friend, whom they only found on Tuesday.

“We came to the bank every day to look for our friend,” Ndlovu said.

“We were so worried. After the accident he got disorientated and then ran away to stay with a cousin. We’re just glad that none us was injured.”

Ndlovu said the friends had not realised they needed to open a missing person’s case with the police as they believed they had reported him missing at the scene on Thursday night.

Ndlovu said he found himself in church on Sunday for the first time in ages.

“I had to go to church to thank God for sparing our lives,” he laughed.

The owner of the car, Ziyanda Mthembu (22), who swam for his life that night, said he was glad that he got his car back.

The keys were still in the ignition, but it was full of water and mud.

Mthembu is confident that it is still fixable even though it has been suggested he sell it to a scrapyard. “It has no dents. I can still fix it,” Mthembu said.

Search-and-rescue unit leader Lieutenant Jack Haskins said they needed to find the car to make sure it was not a stolen vehicle and to make sure that there was no one locked inside.

“As we were coming down about 300 metres from the low-level bridge, one diver bumped into the car. “Now it’s confirmed by the owner of the vehicle that no one is missing.”

The divers found three fish in the car, which they released back into the river.

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