Alcohol abuse probe after fatal ambulance, mortuary van collision

2015-10-28 17:02
(AFP)

(AFP)

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Bloemfontein – Free State police are probing allegations of alcohol abuse after an ambulance hit a mortuary van, killing five people, including two patients.

According to Captain Stephen Thakeng, the accident occurred at 2:30 on Sunday on the R76 road, 15km outside Viljoenskroon towards Kroonstad.  

Thakeng confirmed that a case of culpable homicide was registered and they are currently investigating allegations of the use of alcohol by the health department staffers.   

Thakeng said the ambulance and mortuary vehicle were travelling in opposite directions. 

"The ambulance was from Potchefstroom with patients going to Kroonstad while the Forensic vehicle was travelling from the Kroonstad direction," he said.  

The police said they were eight occupants in the ambulance, including the driver, while in the mortuary vehicle had the driver and his assistant. 

"A head-on-collision occurred between these two vehicles and the driver in the Forensic vehicle passed on and his assistant survived," said Thakeng.  

Thakeng said the victims in the ambulance included: the driver; a mother, 68, and her daughter, 35. An unknown male person, who was believed to be a friend of the ambulance driver, died on the spot.  

Two ambulance crew members, a mortuary assistant, a patient and a woman who could not be accounted for survived the fatal crash and were taken to hospital, said Thakeng.  

Meanwhile, Free State Health Department spokesperson Tebogo Oepeng said the department was also conducting an investigation into how the accident occurred.  

"There are people who lost their lives so for now we want them to receive the best burial possible," said Oepeng.   

"Internally, we will be doing our own investigations, but our main focus now is to support the families that lost their loved ones and to assist with counselling."

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  accident

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