Taxi driver arrested after crash

2016-03-15 06:00
Six cars were involved in a crash on Jakes Gerwel Drive last Tuesday which resulted in the death of a local traffic officer. The taxi was allegedly the cause of the crash.  PHOTO: ER24

Six cars were involved in a crash on Jakes Gerwel Drive last Tuesday which resulted in the death of a local traffic officer. The taxi was allegedly the cause of the crash. PHOTO: ER24

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A 30-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a road accident on Jakes Gerwel Drive last Tuesday.

The man confessed to being involved in a hit-and-run accident that led to the death of 35-year-old City of Cape Town traffic officer Mogamat Faried Galant.

A total of six vehicles were involved in the collision.

The City last week offered a R50 000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of a minibus taxi driver responsible for the fatal collision.

“The taxi was travelling in the direction of Mitchell’s Plain at about 07:30 when the driver lost control and crossed the centre median into oncoming traffic. He collided head-on with the car of Galant, who was driving towards Hillstar Traffic Department. Four other cars were involved in a secondary collision,” said JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, in a statement.

Galant was declared dead on the scene by paramedics.

Jakes Gerwel blocked“ER24 paramedics, along with rescue services, arrived on the scene and found several wrecked vehicles, including the taxi, blocking Jakes Gerwel Drive,” says ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring.

“When paramedics inspected one of the cars, they found the lifeless body of a man lying trapped inside. On assessment, paramedics found that the man had already succumbed to his multiple fatal injuries. Nothing more could be done for the patient and he was declared dead on the scene.”

Rescue services had to use jaws of life equipment to free the deceased from the car.

Fortunately, no other injuries were reported among the other motorists on the accident scene. The taxi driver fled the scene and a manhunt ensued.

Smith tells People’s Post: “[The taxi driver] was arrested at his home in Mfuleni at about 01:00 [on Thursday] 10 March. The suspect made a full confession at the time of his arrest and was in possession of the clothing worn at the time of the collision as well as a shoe that matched another left behind at the scene.”

The accused appeared in court yesterday on charges of culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving and leaving the accident scene without ascertaining injuries.

“He is currently in custody at Nyanga police station. He also has numerous warrants of arrest pending for other traffic transgressions and has had a number of cases withdrawn in the past,” Smith adds.

“We will be paying a reward for information received; however, we cannot reveal more details at this stage.”

The incident has seen Philippi police station commander Colonel Dennis Abels urging all road users to be more vigilant and patient when using the roads and to always be tolerant toward fellow road users as well as pedestrians.

Abels also offered his condolences to the traffic officer’s family.

“We are shocked and saddened by the death of yet another one of our members. Our thoughts and prayers are with officer Galant’s wife and his three children, as well as the extended family, and the City will provide them with counselling and other support during this difficult time.”

Galant started his career with the City’s Metro Police before moving over to the Swartland municipality. He recently joined the City’s traffic service.

He was buried last Tuesday in accordance with Muslim rites.

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