Speeding truck goes over bridge, lands in ditch

2008-10-16 00:00

About 10 minutes after getting a R500 traffic fine, the driver of a heavy horse-and-trailer truck lost control of the vehicle and it overturned after seriously injuring a pedestrian in Pietermaritzburg yesterday afternoon.

The driver, who, together with his conductor, was taken to St Anne’s Hospital with serious injuries, got the fine just after passing the Hilton off-ramp on the southbound N3 at about 5 pm.

He was fined for driving in the middle lane instead of using the lane allocated for trucks on the steep hill.

Traffic authorities suspected that the driver was speeding in an attempt to make up for the delay while traffic officers were writing the fine.

The truck was carrying containers and was heading to Durban.

“We suspect that as he was speeding down, the brakes failed and he tried to avoid driving to the opposite lane by driving into the grassy area between the freeway and Peter Brown Drive.

However, he failed to apply the brakes and [the truck] went over the bridge and fell into the ditch,” said Msunduzi traffic department spokesman Kwenza Khumalo.

The pedestrian, who was taken to Northdale Hospital, was hit by barrier rails as they were knocked flying by the truck.

The driver and his conductor were trapped inside the wrecked truck for a few minutes.

A Witness reader who witnessed the accident praised the driver for avoiding driving into the opposite lane, which might have caused him to collide with oncoming traffic.

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