News24

19 killed in horror Free State crash

2011-12-27 10:03

Bloemfontein - Nineteen people were killed when a minibus taxi and a car collided head-on in the Free State, police said on Tuesday.

Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said both the car and minibus taxi caught fire after they collided on the R26 between Frankfort and Tweeling on Monday.

"Some of the people were burned beyond recognition after the impact," he said.

He said it was alleged that the accident occurred when the car, with four occupants, tried to overtake another car on the barrier line but instead collided with the on-coming taxi.

The taxi was travelling from QwaQwa and heading towards Johannesburg.

Four occupants from the car and fifteen from the taxi died on the scene.

Over 800 deaths on SA roads


Mophiring said seven people were transported to Mafube District Hospital in Frankfort. Two critically injured people were taken to Pelelomi Trauma Centre Hospital in Bloemfontein.

The bodies of those who died were taken Sasolburg state mortuary.

By Monday night, seven of the injured were reported to be in stable condition.

The names of those who died have not been released yet.

On Monday, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said that reckless overtaking had been one of the main causes behind the over 800 deaths that have occurred on South African roads since December 1.

"Major contributory factors remain speeds too high for circumstances, especially at night and during inclement weather, drinking and driving, drinking and walking and dangerous overtaking on barrier lines in the face of coming traffic," said RTMC spokesperson Ashref Ismail at the time.

- Wee you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts.

Comments
  • Anthony - 2011-12-27 10:11

    taxi again?

      Johncarlos Cynical Biza - 2011-12-27 10:15

      Doesn't sound like the taxi driver did anything wrong.

      Gail - 2011-12-27 10:19

      Only this time it appears that the taxi wasn't at fault...it was the motorist in the car that overtook on a solid barrier line.

      Sean - 2011-12-27 10:41

      How many people were in the Taxi ? Obviously overloaded !

      wesleywt - 2011-12-27 11:14

      Why are you trying to blame the taxi in this one? I see loads of cars behaving badly. Its as if they are sniffing cocaine by the way they are driving.

      frikdt - 2011-12-27 11:46

      To be honest, looks like the majority of South Africans these days show a complete disregard for other road users. I live in La Lucia, and each and every day I notice how many motorists skip red robots; almost nobody takes the trouble of using indicators when negotiating traffic circles or dimming their headlights for oncoming traffic at night; this rudeness is further evident in how people are unwilling to give others a gap at busy intersections and how very few care to even nod a 'thank you' when given a gap (and the list goes on). As long as motorists have this attitude, the carnage will continue.

      callet.gababuse - 2011-12-27 13:11

      No Anthony,this time is a motorist trying to overtake another car,now poor people in a taxi have died.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-12-27 16:35

      15 dead in the taxi, 4 in the car, 7 extra sent to hospital. That makes 22 in the taxi... overloaded, again.

      John - 2011-12-27 17:58

      That's a sad story. Stop being racial for a moment.Overloaded or not 19 people died.I'm sure that if you can picture what looks like people burning, you will never post such a stupid comments here. My sincere condolences to all families affected by this horror.

      rowen.loretz - 2011-12-27 19:53

      The road carnage continues not because of taxi's , but because of incompetent and selfish driver's that thing their cars are capable of impossible stunts, like in the movies. They have no respect for other road users and don't give a damn about traffic laws and regulations, cause you only have to pass or "buy" your license and then you are free to do whatever you damn want to do. Over 800 deaths so far since 1st December ... it should be 0. We are probably ranked no. 1 for road deaths. The minister of transport should be held responsible for this. I would resign if I was him...find someone that can "do their job". How sad it is for people to keep losing their lives on the road each year. I honestly think we need more patrol officers ( and ones that do their jobs properly , cause in the town I live you hardly ever see them, cause they sleeping on the job ). This is a disgrace

      rowen.loretz - 2011-12-27 22:54

      One of those incompotent drivers on the road gave me a thumbs down...what a tosser!

      Johan - 2011-12-28 07:32

      Except carrying 24 people. 15 died on scene, 7 to Frankford Hospital, 2 to Pelenomi Hospital

      stephenandrew.malcolm - 2011-12-28 10:36

      This time the car was to blame. overtaking on a solid line into an on-coming taxi.

  • stefan.coetzer - 2011-12-27 10:18

    - Wee you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts. - SAPA should read: - Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts. - SAPA

      Brian - 2011-12-27 10:52

      Spell correctly if you want to comment

      Brian - 2011-12-27 10:57

      Ps accounts is wat u get in the post

      Mike - 2011-12-27 11:01

      Doh Brian, that was the point

      Lodewyk - 2011-12-27 19:29

      @Brian - Gaan slaap dom d##s!

  • Steven - 2011-12-27 10:30

    7 to the local hospital + 2 to Pelonomi + 15 to the morgue = 24 in the taxi. Aren't they only licensed to carry 15 people? In fact, even the new killer taxis can't hold 24 people. Overloaded again, but the pricks in the traffic department want to reduce the speed limit. Go figure.

      wesleywt - 2011-12-27 11:16

      What if the accident occur with one of those large taxis?

      Warwick - 2011-12-27 11:38

      Not only the amount of people should be a concern, but what the mass/weight carrying ability of these taxis. And then the stopping abilty with all that weight and the handling of the vehicle. Lets take 24 passengers at an avaregae mass of 80kg that makes a passenger mass of 1920kg excluding luggage or the mass of the driver. Can these vehicles really SAFELY handle this sort of weight?

      Bruce - 2011-12-27 12:35

      It was a 23-seater vehicle that was involved - according to the RTMC. The figure relates to adult passengers, so if there were a number of children on board, and depending on their age category, the law will allow more than 23 passengers. Therefore, the minibus might not have been overloaded in terms of the law.

      wesleywt - 2011-12-27 12:37

      But in this case it was not a taxi.You points are irrelevant.

      Steven - 2011-12-27 15:05

      Ummm....based my comment on the second line of the article which clearly calls out "mini bus taxi". Is that not one of these 15 seater Hiace taxis driven with a wheel spanner so that they can fit an extra passenger in the front? You know which one I mean? The same vehicle used by 95% of the taxi drivers in SA.

  • michelle.mostert - 2011-12-27 10:31

    No I don't Wee there, I have a toilet at home.

      Andrew - 2011-12-27 10:44

      Mine is enclosed.

      Brian - 2011-12-27 10:53

      Well commented

  • Djim - 2011-12-27 10:35

    Too much emphasis is put on "speed kills", it doesn’t, stopping quickly kills you. More and more drivers are not adhering to the road marking signs, the white, yellow and red painted lines. Only about half a page in your learner’s driver test book covers road markings. Poorly prepared drivers kill!

      wesleywt - 2011-12-27 12:37

      Speed does kill. Only ignorant people who think they own the road would think other wise. You have decrease reaction time, increased stopping distance and massive amounts of momentum. All you are depending on to stop you is four pieces of rubber.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-12-27 16:38

      Too true. The autobahn has no speed limit, in fact it has a minimum... and it is safe

      Rob - 2011-12-28 10:20

      Djimbie, your comment goes in the right direction. But I think that it is a part of a bigger picture, specifically a significant decrease in almost everyone's respect for anyone else's space. Check out the state of the beaches after this holiday season if you want proof.

      wesleywt - 2011-12-28 14:47

      You can't compare the Autobahn to South African roads. What a silly comment.

  • Nick - 2011-12-27 10:40

    Wow, that is shocking. RIP to all who passed

  • andy.bugden - 2011-12-27 11:00

    From latest published figures for comparison. 2009 13875 road fatalities in south Africa. In Britain just 2222. I would guess something is wrong in South Africa

      wesleywt - 2011-12-27 11:16

      We are not living in Britain... It had hundreds of years to develop into what we see today. You can't compare us to them.

      J.D. - 2011-12-27 11:47

      @ wesleywt. If you mean that Britain had more years than SA to develop you are sorrily wrong. We all live in the same age and year. If you mean Britain USED their minds better to develop over the same time period then yes I FULLY agree. Sadly the difference will never be wiped out as Britain keep on developing.

      Zwelihle - 2011-12-27 11:50

      You can't compare the two. I live in London, Britain , here the main mode of transport is trains(i.e tubes , DLR) whereas in South africa because of the poor transport system , most ppl use cars. It makes sense that SA will have more car accidents than Britain

      wesleywt - 2011-12-27 12:35

      Weird people out there thinking you can compare a first world country to a country that used the majority of its people as slave labour. You cannot compare the two countries. What is so hard to understand?

      goyougoodthing - 2011-12-27 16:41

      Actually Wesley, if you did some research you would know that Victorian England used the masses very much as slave labour. How did they build the tubes without many hands, their 20 000 looms were filled with children and their chimneys filled with sweeps who lived to a grand age of average 30. Know your history before you feel sorry for yourself.

      wesleywt - 2011-12-28 14:50

      Wow! You can't convince the ignorant can you. It was in 17th and 18th century.

  • Alexander - 2011-12-27 11:04

    I traveled back on the 26th Dec in rain the whole way, from Punda Maria to Pta, via Giyani and Polokwane, and was horrified to see the driving of cars and taxi's, Total disregard to fellow travelers/road user's. Overtaking on solid lines, breaking all the rules. Im not suprised and the number of accidents on the road. Very sad!!

  • dave.j.colquhoun - 2011-12-27 11:13

    Another sensless butchery session on our roads. I know we all blame the taxi drivers for everything, but this time it seems as if the driver of the car was the guilty party. When I learned to drive, i was always told that someone had taken the time to paint the line for your own safety and that you should take the time to respect that for the safety of everyone. A few seconds lost to save a life. My sincerest condolences to all the families that have lost their loved ones during our annual killing spree on the roads.

  • Zweli Khambule - 2011-12-27 11:14

    May my Aunt my niece soul's rest in peace, we have been affected badly on by this tragedy that took place during this tym of season. Martha and Naledi you will be highly missed by all of us, to all Mabilu's Tshidisehang.

      Neville - 2011-12-27 13:54

      Sorry 2 hear of ure lost may they rest in peace

      Kopraal SilverStar Mohloli - 2011-12-27 14:32

      :(...askies!

  • Zweli Khambule - 2011-12-27 11:18

    May my Aunt my niece soul's rest in peace, we have been affected badly on by this tragedy that took place during this tym of season. Martha and Naledi you will be highly missed by all of us, to all Mabilu's Tshidisehang.

  • eugene.koen - 2011-12-27 11:24

    Die drywer van die kar was 'n taxi drywer wat op verlof was.

  • Nurse - 2011-12-27 11:28

    Anyone needs to drive on any road today in SA and you will see bad driving and reckless disregard for the rules of the road. Speeding, overtaking on a white line and around blind curves. No-one seems to care. Life is cheap apparently.

  • Zion - 2011-12-27 11:34

    Reckless driving and overtaking is related to poor road conditions like congestion and poor road surfaces. Most drivers have experienced the jalopy upfront doing 70km/h and a huge train building up behind him/her. You feel like you want to kill the bastid and that moer in a Kia or X3 overtaking the whole line in the face of oncoming traffic, and forcing his way into the train again.

  • The-Azanian - 2011-12-27 11:34

    Again a minibus involved. cheap transportation is costing the nation dearly. its time to enter the new decade with a new transportation system

  • Zion - 2011-12-27 11:39

    Imagine standing close to the burning vehicle and hear the screams of pain and terror emanating from some idiots stupidity and ignorance. Will haunt one for a long time to come.

  • Nkosinathi - 2011-12-27 11:59

    This is very sad! The Ministry of Transport and maybe with help from Stat SA need to start profiling accidents ie driver age, background (education, work, family- bread winner or not), health, vehicle type or model. Why? In my experience there's something psychopathic about some SA drivers and I have seen a lot of accidents involving reckless driving by golf 1 drivers and modern variants of this death trap. They always have to be in front! Why? These stats should then be used to get certain drivers (merit system) and vehicles off our roads to save innocent lives.

  • Zanele - 2011-12-27 11:59

    Dios mio! Que dios los bendiga. My condolonces to the grieving families. Call me crazy or whatever but trully speaking so many things have gone terribly wrong since 1994. We are paying a heavy price for our freedom and this country is going down the drain. I have lived abroad for 2 years and during festive season there would be one to none road related accident reported.How i wish South Africans can start to understand that speed and drunk driving kills. Again those traffic officers wh takes bribes are making things worse. Theres nothing as horrible as being rned to death.The pain that people go through before they die.Nobody deserve to die like that. I dont wish that to happen to anyone not even my enemies.Por favor gente if you are not rushing somewhere don't overtake. Drive safe and Felices Fiestas! (triste)

  • Gwen - 2011-12-27 12:12

    There is a cukture in S.A tht people is invincible. They can do what they like and not die. If we dont educate all young and old about road safety, the carnage will go on. The traffic cops is also only visible on school holidays. There is no fear of being caught. Gwen

  • janjac.gilbert - 2011-12-27 12:13

    And thus it will be until.................................

  • hannesw1 - 2011-12-27 12:19

    Yesterday our authorities said we have not passed last years number so obviously these drivers took note of that?! Come on drivers, we have last years record to beat!

      Singatha - 2011-12-27 16:28

      Perhaps the attainment of our driving licences is at fault here,so a solution would be to teach what is termed as "defensive driving" from the onset(and probably be part of a life skills programmes at school).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defensive_driving http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Driving_Test But then again with the socio/political system we have at present no one will be prepared to advocate it if it doesn't have nothing in it for "them".Sigh..sad, it has to be tendered.

  • Kevin - 2011-12-27 12:32

    The traffic authoriyies are to blame. They dont enforce the traffic laws except speeding laws. I drive on the N2 everyday and I see all manner of vehicles overtaking across solid white lines, on blind rises and on blind curves. The vehicles include Police vehicles, traffic vehicles Government vehicles, taxis, expensive vehicles, and very old battered vehicles. In the last 10 years I have only seen one traffic vehicle enforcing moving traffic offences. That is the reason for our appalling driving and the carnage on our roads. Shortly before Xmas I followed a Western Cape Provincial Government vehicle into a 70kph zone where I have seen 6 people killed by vehicles, it never bothered to slow down. Enforce the laws and the carnage will end.

  • Phil - 2011-12-27 12:55

    The police are handling the traffic accident scene by putting up roadblocks and checking the occupants, but there is very little being done by mobile unmarked Police cars looking for people committing offences on the road. I have never seen a Police car pulling someone off the road for committing a driving offence. Crossing over a solid white line should carry a fine of R1000 per wheel and there should be other VERY HEAVY FINES for bad driving.

      Roger.D.Fraser - 2011-12-27 13:10

      100% correct .I travel quite a bit and see bad driving constantly .It would be absolutely impossible for the authorities to say they don’t see these offences when they are driving around themselves unless they literally ar blind .In the past 2 days I have seen 3 vehicles stop over the white line at a traffic light then just drive on through a solid red light in broad daylight ? Obviously road rules are also on holiday as the standard in general is shocking to say the least .White lines are definitely just guides to warn motorists in the lane that the vehicle next to you will be swerving at the last moment to enter this lane .Orange /red lines are reserved for taxis ? The old adage never a policeman around when you need one is very very true in SA they are usually only found at roadbloads .Good day sir can I see your fake licence that never even gets scanned to see if it is valid and on your way round the corner you can break loose and kill some innocent person ...

      Christian - 2011-12-27 13:12

      Make it R10 000 per wheel.

  • David - 2011-12-27 13:20

    Until the goverment makes it unlawful to drive in the yellow emergency lane we will continue to have carnage on the roads, if a truck or car is driving in the yellow line and half of the vehicle is over half of the road and we have a double line they still overtake and traffic coming in the oppoaite direction must move over. Driving from Cape Town to George last week I was behind a large truck and because of double solid lines waited to overtaske when they ended - 9 cars overtook me and the two cars behind and the rruck - taking no notice of the solid lines all were family cars with trailers and bicycles etc no regards for their family never mind others!!!!!!!!!!

      Bornlucky Manaswe - 2011-12-27 13:55

      It won't happen to me, that's the attitude nothing else.

  • xavier.duperron - 2011-12-27 13:31

    To say that speed kills is just as good as saying that transport kills, we should therefore all walking...crazy drivers are as dangerous, periode. Speed needs to be adapted to roads. 120 on some is more dangerous than 200 on others. Speed limits should also be respected as they are established before even thinking of reducing it more. Buses, taxies and trucks ctill cruise regularly at 140km/h+ without any distubance under rain or fog: there are no speed control then. Dangerous behaviour are not targetted at all: lights not working, circulating on wrong lane, passing when not allowed, DRIVING TOO SLOW! Roads signage inadapted. On the N5 it is allowed to pass where one cannot see. I have found 4 spots where it is the case. Driving 120, 100, or why not 70...will reduce some of the consequences of accident, but will not sort out the causes. But sorting out the causes is just too much work...

  • Neville - 2011-12-27 13:57

    We must get involve report bad driving

  • phillipgibb - 2011-12-27 13:58

    my thought is; did the other car speed up to prevent being over taken, I find that a lot

      Kopraal SilverStar Mohloli - 2011-12-27 14:27

      Yip, it happens all the time, 4 weeks back a Polo driver decided to do the same, worst of all he was clogging the fast lane, but I managed to out race him, :)...anyways that doesn't mean u should overtake when u not sure of the speed the oncoming car is driving with (which is always the case) in short as long as u can see the roof of the oncoming car DO NOT OVERTAKE, works for me, an accident is a tyre bursting and u hitting other cars, most of what is happening on our roads lately is a direct consequence of a flawed licencing system that puts inconsiderate, inexperienced drivers on the road!!!!...may the departed RIP!

  • Veryll - 2011-12-27 15:16

    My condolences to all the people that lost the lives. May they R.I.P.

  • Ewald - 2011-12-27 16:42

    Spokesperson for Road Safety said on SAfm that it appears the taxi overtook in heavy rain and collided with the Mercedes-Benz. Wise to hold back on this one till we know for sure although we seldomly hear who was actually at fault.

  • Ewald - 2011-12-27 16:43

    Spokesperson for Road Safety said on SAfm that it appears the taxi overtook in heavy rain and collided with the Mercedes-Benz. Wise to hold back on this one till we know for sure although we seldomly hear who was actually at fault.

  • masiela.Rudluv - 2011-12-27 16:49

    no offence,but u could make a horror movie based on SA killer roads

  • daniel.w.gie - 2011-12-27 17:31

    not even the kill rate in war in Afganistan , compares with the slaughter taking place on our roads .

  • Pamela - 2011-12-27 17:43

    this is sounding bad realy those are died RIP amafamily omelelani uyapha aphinde athathe

  • Alan - 2011-12-27 18:58

    Re:Alicia The Government will never stop taxies as they (the ANC) need their vote in 2012! So until the ANC lose an election we will have to put up with DEATH on the roads

  • jabu.t.java1 - 2011-12-27 19:49

    Guys dont try to sound as of you are good drivers...no one is always right on our roads...did you stop long enough at all stops signs today?

  • rowen.loretz - 2011-12-27 19:52

    The road carnage continues not because of taxi's , but because of incompetent and selfish driver's that thing their cars are capable of impossible stunts, like in the movies. They have no respect for other road users and don't give a damn about traffic laws and regulations, cause you only have to pass or "buy" your license and then you are free to do whatever you damn want to do. Over 800 deaths so far since 1st December ... it should be 0. We are probably ranked no. 1 for road deaths. The minister of transport should be held responsible for this. I would resign if I was him...find someone that can "do their job". How sad it is for people to keep losing their lives on the road each year. I honestly think we need more patrol officers ( and ones that do their jobs properly , cause in the town I live you hardly ever see them, cause they sleeping on the job ). This is a disgrace

  • Bruce - 2011-12-27 20:20

    It does not matter whether it was the taxi or cars fault. With the amount of road deaths in South Africa the Minister of Transport should do the honourable thing and resign. If he will not, then fire him. He is the man in charge. Think what the public reaction would be if say 5000 miners were killed every year underground and nothing was done to rectify the situation.

  • wzimbeva - 2011-12-27 22:48

    What worries me is that everyday we hear on the radio, television and see signs on the road that say drive safely, buckle up, whatever, but all this seems is falling on deaf ears and some people its as if when they hear the message being said they show the middle finger back to the radio & the minister. How on earth do we keep having carelessness accidents on our roads this December still remains a mystery, why people don't drive keeping in mind that they need to arrive safe. I support people who say we must have unmarked police vehicles patrol on our roads to cab overtaking on barrier lines, its happening everyday and most drivers are just protected by the grace of the Lord without them putting an effort.

  • Milton Chinogwenya - 2011-12-28 05:42

    If you do an analysis, you can easily conclude that in all head-on collisions, a taxi man was at fault. These rats are killing us on the roads. I think its high time the goverment pass a law on the issuing of a drivers license to all those who want to be taxi drivers. There must be a separate type of a license disc, training and testing methods. On top of that there must have Grade 12. Most of these guys are too illiterate such that they cant even make simplier decisions on the roads.

  • Milton Chinogwenya - 2011-12-28 05:43

    If you do an analysis, you can easily conclude that in all head-on collisions, a taxi man was at fault. These rats are killing us on the roads. I think its high time the goverment pass a law on the issuing of a drivers license to all those who want to be taxi drivers. There must be a separate type of a license disc, training and testing methods. On top of that there must have Grade 12. Most of these guys are too illiterate such that they cant even make simplier decisions on the roads.

  • Johan - 2011-12-28 07:33

    Again overloaded!! Carrying 24 people. 15 died on scene, 7 to Frankford Hospital, 2 to Pelenomi Hospital

  • Dirk - 2011-12-28 07:41

    Drove past the accident scene yesterday while forensic team was measuring out and analyzing the accident. Just a normal stretch of road, defenitely drivers behaving badly! What was very noticeable from Ficksburg to Johanneburg was the amount of tribute crosses for fatalities along that road! Only evidence of 19 deaths is a burnt patch of grass and some skidmarks.

  • Revza - 2011-12-28 10:21

    Eish it's such a traumatic accident and what painful is that the was a child in the accident. imagine losing a mother and a child at the same time, No one has to go through such pain in life. My condolences to all those who lost their loved ones in this accident. May their souls rest in peace. *sad*

  • stephenandrew.malcolm - 2011-12-28 10:35

    This is what happens when people break the law and drive recklessly. We do not have enough visible policing on South Africa's roads.

  • Wilfred - 2011-12-28 14:12

    It is pointless to complain about the carnage on our roads without alternative mass transportation strategy. I do not condone reckless driving, but this carnage begs for a very holistic strategy. Where is our rail transportation? Why are roads in most small towns narrow and in a pparlous state? Taking licenses away from drivers and jailing them is knee jerk reaction to a very complicated problem that begs for better usage of our thinking faculty.

  • noel.opperman - 2011-12-29 01:26

    That is a horrible stretch of road in the Free State. People take way too many chances, and the potholes are unimaginable. I drove from Bethlehem to Gauteng on Tuesday, and no police presence or traffic control could be seen anywhere between Frankfort and Villiers.

  • Willie - 2011-12-29 08:47

    Ignorance of the law a major problem nr 1. Manners of the road users problem nr 2. Back to basics of driving a Taxi / Motor car. Teach drivers "road manners" and start it by teaching the parents of children.

  • Ngoana-Mohale - 2011-12-30 09:31

    The taxi was not overloaded and even though there are a lot of taxi accidents that happen, especially over the festive season, we cannot always put them to blame, there are also other drivers on the road and as you read in the article the car was overtaking in a no-overtake zone. My cousin died in this accident and if we all could just drive carefully on our roads and obey the rules of the road we would all enjoy the festive season. Now some of us have to bury our loved ones because of the selfishness of some people. I drove home this festive season and I cant tell you how many reckless drivers I encountered on the road.....speeding trucks, unroadworthy cars, cars parked in the middle of nowhere. I dont know how many more people need to die before we can all take care on the roads.

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