Six drown while driving over Vaal bridge

2011-05-25 00:00

SIX members of a family returning from a funeral in KZN drowned in the Vaal dam on Sunday night when their car crashed off a single-lane bridge.

The group included a child of two and a grandmother.

Police divers yesterday found a car, a purple Corsa Lite, but bad light forced them to suspend the attempt to recover the bodies until today.

Elsabé Venter of Vaal Emergency Care (VEC) confirmed yesterday that police divers could feel bodies in the car. Relatives gathered at the bridge yesterday.

Ratsie Mabasa said his wife Thandi (45), her two sisters, Esther Magadlela (42) and Betty Mkhuma (38), their mother, Agnes Dubazana (73), brother Mzwandile Nkala (32) and Mkhuma’s baby daughter Manana (2) were in the car.

The group were returning to Vereeniging and Sebokeng after attending their grandmother’s funeral at Tugela Ferry when the accident took place.

Shortly after 7 pm on Sunday evening Seipati Mofokeng saw the car crash through the barrier on the Magrieta Prinsloo bridge at Oranjeville.

“I was driving behind the car. It crashed through the railing on the bridge and disappeared under the water. I parked my car and got out, but could not see the other car,” she told Beeld yesterday.

She reported the incident to the police.

The road over the bridge is a single lane. Traffic lights regulate vehicle flow on both sides of the bridge.

Mabasa said, “I don’t think they knew the road. They probably did not see that the road became a single lane, and then hit the railing.” It is not yet known who was driving the car.

Police divers found the car shortly after 4 pm yesterday.

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