Speeding woman tells of horror at blue-light chase

2015-03-27 00:00

WITH blue lights flashing in her mirrors, a Cape Town woman was involved in a high-speed chase on the N3 on Wednesday.

Desire Crowther (50), a Cape Town artist, said she was on her way from Clarens in the Free State to Durban’s King Shaka Airport to fetch her husband when two Mercedes Vianos sped past her.

Without any blue lights on, Crowther admitted she mistook the unmarked vehicles for ordinary citizens and maintained a speed of 180 km/h behind them in order to avoid speed cameras along the highway.

“I did what most people do anyway, I thought if they could do it, I should embrace the opportunity … I knew I was wrong for that,” Crowther said.

However, when the vehicles, one white and one black, tried to block the road in front of her, Crowther managed to speed past them.

After passing the Mooi toll plaza, Crowther described her shock and horror when, out of nowhere, the two cars reappeared behind her, with blue lights flashing in the bumper grills of the large Mercedes vehicles.

Crowther said at one stage, the cars tried to box her in, attempting to push her off the freeway.

“While driving, men in the vehicle in front of me opened the sliding door and stuck their bodies out the side and signalled for me to pull over,” Crowther said.

“All that crossed my mind is what these guys would do to me if I pulled off on the deserted road. It happens all the time when women are raped or assaulted like this … I had to drive for my life”.

Crowther claims to have “sped up” trying to escape the men who she thought were “criminals”. “At that stage I was very nervous, because in Cape Town, criminals just use blue lights so people mistake them for cops … I just put my foot down,” she said.

Nearing the Mkondeni turnoff, she said she spotted a traffic officer at the roadside.

“I stopped my car and reversed frantically right in front of him. I jumped out and ran to his vehicle, sat in his passenger seat and locked the doors.”

The men stopped and circled the traffic police car, knocking on the windows asking Crowther to get out.

Without showing her any form of identification besides a police badge, the men, who Crowther said were not in uniform, asked her to open her vehicle, which they searched thoroughly.

“They went through my purse, my luggage and all my personal belongings. Here I am amongst all these guys, I didn’t know what to do,” Crowther said.

She alleged that the men were extremely aggressive and passed racial remarks while searching her vehicle.

After their search, the men asked her not to speed again and left her to continue to Durban.

“I never trembled like that in my life. I cried all the way to Durban while driving and was in a constant state of trauma all along the way,” Crowther said.

Now, Crowther has posted her story on Facebook, searching for answers from authorities.• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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