ON Friday evening, April 18, 2016, I received a message from a close friend that made me feel sick to the core.
The message was that a close friend had been smashed to death in a collision at the Varley/Murray Road intersection. That friend, who I had been in very close contact with in coaching her for a Comrades Marathon run, had been killed as result of speed and negligence.
The friend who perished was Taryn Heathcote. A most amazing, humble, benevelent and caring person was taken from us in the blink of an eye.
Two weeks before the tragic incident of Taryn’s passing, two close family members also almost came to their end at the same intersection while exiting from Varley Road into Murray Road because the grass cutting had not been kept up to date. A person coming from Varley Road turning right into Murray Road stood no chance if a vehicle approaching along Murray Road from Mkondeni was speeding, due to the overgrown and unkempt grass verge obscuring the view of approaching traffic.
I am appalled at the lack of attention to duty by Msunduzi municipal staff when it comes to maintaining grass-cutting and other duties. It shocks me beyond belief that staff employed to carry out routine duties such as grass-cutting neglect their duties to the extent that it leads to the loss of someone’s life.
I previously managed a group of runners and walkers who walked/ran three times a week in the Scottsville/Hayfields area and on every occasion I prayed that they would return home safely. Taryn was one of those runners (and she regularly lit up our lives with her smiles and positive attitude). Fortunately, they all came home safely in those days. However, I have noticed a very different attitude from drivers nowadays and every time I go out on the road I fear the worst.
My sincere condolences to Taryn’s family. I really feel your pain.