Driver jailed for death of 15 passengers

2013-07-25 15:58

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Pietermaritzburg - A taxi driver was jailed for 10 years by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday for the deaths of 15 people due to his reckless driving.

Khululeka Gwala, 24, was convicted of 15 counts of culpable homicide, but was acquitted on four charges of attempted murder involving the people injured in the accident.

A child lost both parents in the crash.

In September 2011, Gwala was speeding down a hill into Pietermaritzburg when he crossed two solid barrier lines and drove into oncoming traffic to overtake other vehicles.

Gwala continued speeding into oncoming traffic around a bend, which restricted visibility to 80m. His taxi side-swiped a car and crashed into an oncoming truck. The vehicle landed on an embankment with the truck on top of it.

Acting Judge Piet Bezuidenhout said Gwala had made a conscious decision to cross the double lines and continue speeding.

His attempt to get back into his lane was a high-risk manoeuvre, the judge said.

Bezuidenhout said taxi drivers had a great responsibility to ensure the safety of their fares.

A police investigator said the accident scene was the worst he had seen in 20 years.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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