Driver was breastfeeding before crash

2011-09-15 22:30

Johannesburg - An entire family were killed on Thursday morning when the mother - apparently breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter while driving the car - collided with a bus.

A passenger in the bus lost both her legs when she was flung through the windshield.

Paramedics removed baby Miné's body from the breast of her mother Eunice Franklin,29, in the driver's seat of the family’s car.

Toddler Bradley, 3, who was sitting in the front passenger seat without a seatbelt, was decapitated.

The father, Mark, 39, was sitting in the back seat.

A family member, Alta de Villiers, said it is "God’s mercy" that the whole family died together "because Eunice would never have been able to live without her children.

"Mark was so dependent on his wife and children." She said the family had heard that Eunice was breastfeeding Miné while driving, but she believes that "with that impact, it wouldn’t have made a difference. They would have died in any case."

It was not clear where the family was going at 05:30 on Thursday morning when the accident happened in the Leeuwkloof valley near Pretoria.

Police spokesperson Johannes Jaftha said the bus had 31 passengers on board.

Aside from the woman who lost her legs, the others suffered minor injuries.

"The driver of the car lost control and swerved into the oncoming traffic," Jaftha said.

The car and the bus both crashed into a bank after the head-on collision. Eyewitnesses told Jaftha the bus had been en route to Pretoria.

Ashref Ismail, a spokesperson for the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), said the scene reduced him to tears.

When the accident happened Ismail and traffic officers were busy checking Putco buses in an operation about 20km away on the infamous Moloto Road.

Of the 60 Putco buses checked in two hours, 22 were not roadworthy, he said.

He said the accident was the eighth in 15 days on the collision- prone road, in which 75 people have been killed.

"About 90% of these accidents were because of human error," Ismail said.

"We can check every vehicle and every bus, but we can’t be in every vehicle. Every driver must begin taking responsibility for himself."

  • LuLuBug - 2011-09-15 22:36

    How could the father have allowed this? Why did he not drive? And why the toddler in front? With no seatbelt?? This is mindboggling :(

      Fision - 2011-09-15 22:41

      Agreed! But you'd be shocked to see how many parents allow children to stand between the front seats, sits on laps and even hang out windows while driving. People dont care, at all! I just hope that the texting, breastfeeding, smoking and drinking crowd learns from this and start paying attention to the road and to secure their passengers!

      JohannV - 2011-09-15 23:03

      Dumb, stupid, insane, totally unneccessary...

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-09-15 23:06

      So Lulubug, the mother breastfeeding the child whilst she was driving is somehow the father's fault?

      emile.eley - 2011-09-15 23:09

      My point exactly. You see kids travelling unrestrained all the time. It is high time our traffic authorities get out behind the bushes and start enforcing the law. An absoluite catastrophe.

      Mystre - 2011-09-15 23:37

      Emile. its not only up to Traffic Authorities. The parents who allow their children to sit shotgun without a seat belt (even children in the backseat) are to blame as well. I'm 21 and I'm not arrogant like most of the children my age. I wear my safety belt at all times because i know that it could very well save my life. I would like to feel sorry for this family, but under the circumstances, I cannot sympathize with them. Breast feeding while drive? Allowing your wife to drive while breast feeding? Completely irresponsible in my opinion.

      Chuck U Farlie - 2011-09-16 04:44

      The high accident rate is this country is the result of the law allowing dumb people to drive. Add in a absolutely uselss traffic authority and you get so many deaths!

      markings - 2011-09-16 06:15

      BrixtonBriefCase, yes, this is the fathers fault. Stupidity without boundaries.

      legens - 2011-09-16 06:54

      calling it "god`s mercy" . how sick a response is this ?

      C_S - 2011-09-16 06:58

      Things like thses are unnecessary, and avoidable. We all assume things were normal, but it could be that the dad needed to get to a hospital? kids woken up out of routine, cried... I know it is not an excuse, but maybe there is another side to the story??

      CygnusX1 - 2011-09-16 07:02

      @ BrixtonBriefcase, simple answer YES! He was the father, the damn head of the household, the bloody alpha male. So firstl;y he should have stopped his wife from breastfeeding whils driving and secondly what the hell was he the male doing in the back of the car? I suspect the answer may lie in what the family said "Mark was so DEPENDANT on his wife and children. Well, it ultimately cost him his life!

      THX1148 - 2011-09-16 07:04

      The article says the father was dependant on the wife and children. Maybe that means he literally was dependant, as in hanidcapped. Or maybe he was sick and they were on their way to the doctor or hospital. Give the guy a break. The driver is responsible for the lives of the passengers, not the other way round.

      JR - 2011-09-16 07:23

      I share your sentiments too Lulubug. So sad that these innocent childrens lives were snapped away because of their parents irresponsibility, the ones that were supposed to protect them. And i stress, BOTH parents are responsible. This is just lack of simple common sense. People, please buckle up! But more importantly, please use some common sense and buckle your kids up too. It could be the difference between life and death.

      KD - 2011-09-16 07:28

      @brixtonbriefcase, the point LuLuBug was making, was that the woman was being incredibly stupid and unsafe, and the father should have insisted on driving. I mean, would you willing get into a car with a driver who was so blind drunk they could hardly see? To me its unfortunate that a poor woman has lost her legs because of this womans utter stupidity. Shocking.

      OllieMor - 2011-09-16 07:38

      I have a two year old, and I find this story deeply disturbing. How the &%#$%^ does a parent do this???!!!

      brannawyn meester - 2011-09-16 08:01

      Its so sad, but one must look at it in this way: the people in the car did not worry about their own safety hence they did things that are shocking to us, the result is they are all dead now, innocent people were hurt and families sit with this terrible sad and shocking incident. Now my point is if you don't value your own life please think about the people around you......

      SGL - 2011-09-16 08:08

      @BrixtonBriefcase - why was the father in the back seat????? Sleeping most probably while his wife was left to multi-task. @LuLuBug and Fision - it is horrifying to see how many parents are careless with their children, allowing them to sit in the front (or back) without seat belts. Child seats are not that expensive and they are available 2nd hand too. Was the husband incapable of driving? The article mentions he was dependant on his wife and children. Either way, why didn't the mother rather give the child a bottle. At 12 months, she should have been able to hold it herself. As a parent, I just cannot get my head around what this couple did! But be that as it may, RIP and my best wishes to the lady who lost her legs. She is going to need a lot of love and support to come to terms with her loss.

      Lone Ranger - 2011-09-16 08:12

      From now on, EVERY TIME I see parents driving with their kids standing between the seats / unbuckled in the front seat / on the driver's lap, I'm reporting it to the traffic hotline and I will take a cell-phone pic to prove my allegation. Enough is enough. This moether DID NOT care for her family. Either that or she had an IQ of 7.

      NodrogBob - 2011-09-16 08:15

      We can all be critical here and point fingers and yes caution was not given any attention. It is a very tragic accident and one wonders why, but let the family be? The article does say that the husband was dependent on the wife and there was probably a reason why he could not drive. All too tragic!!

      PDP - 2011-09-16 08:25

      @Lone Ranger, you'll get fined for using your cellphone while driving.

      Mark Singh - 2011-09-16 08:26

      BrixtonBrifecase, please allow me to answer your question albeit addressed to LuluBug. YES it is the fathers fault. Both parents are responsible for their own childrens safety. He could very well have seen the danger and stupidity of the situation (unless he was asleep in tne backseat) and taken steps to prevent. Unless you are a responsible parent yourself, you would not understand this

      Captainmorgan - 2011-09-16 08:38

      It seems like 'common sense' is not so common after all !!

      stephen.cole1 - 2011-09-16 08:40

      Such a sad loss ! But how stupid can one be ?

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-16 08:43


      colourblind2 - 2011-09-16 09:10

      @Nawe, please stick to the topic at hand or go away..

      cookEmonster - 2011-09-16 09:13

      Nawe - what about that black woman that went drinking and her two children burned to death - because she left them home alone? STFU

      lakhan7 - 2011-09-16 09:13

      You people are so mean. Show some compassion to the victims. I hope their soul rest in peace.

      Gazza69 - 2011-09-16 09:21


      Sharkie - 2011-09-16 09:28

      Wated to say exactly the same!

      McDaNife - 2011-09-16 09:42

      Stupid parents, I am sorry if I am saying this. The father should have been driving and and generally the mother sits in the back seat where she is more comfortable with the babies. So sad though.

      hey-mr-wat-u - 2011-09-16 10:13

      the mother should not have been breastfeeding, the child should have been in a kids seat or buckled-up, only a chauvinist pig would think the male had to be driving and the woman at the back. what you think the kitchen will catch fire and the washing machine will decapitate the children if the man does the cooking and cleaning?

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-09-16 10:53

      Another open and shut case solved by the intrepid armchair detectives of News24. Who knew what went down? Was it a stupid decision...yes. Does a dead family really deserve to be called everything from alcoholics to uncaring parents by a bunch of people who probably love a good chat on the phone whilst behind the I'm always amazed at how angry we are as a nation. When something tragic happens, someone (anyone!) needs to be publicly flogged in the town square to satisfy our own bloodlust. Insane.

      L_Savage - 2011-09-16 10:54

      @Expat: The laws in South Africa are fine - and in this case seemingly the same as in whatever country you are quoting. This accident would not have happened if the driver had followed those laws. Specifically, it is illegal drive with an unrestrained child in the car. It is also illegal to breastfeed while driving. Where South Africa does fail though is people complying with laws, and this problem is exacerbated by useless law enforcement. Without active traffic law enforcement it is human nature to not stick to traffic rules. If SA traffic authorities actually bothered to do their job, ie to enforce the law*S* (emphasis on the plural) of the roads, a job they are paid to do by our tax money, instead of treating law enforcement as a revenue stream, it would force a significant number of non-compliant drivers to start behaving properly on the road. Oh, and to the relative who believes, regarding breastfeeding while driving that: "with that impact, it wouldn’t have made a difference. They would have died in any case." If the driver had not been breastfeeding at the time there would almost certainly not have been an impact at all. Would have made all the difference in the world :(

      Mathaithai - 2011-09-16 11:25

      If you watched TV, there were beer bottles in the car. The husband apparently was taking out TB! (terrible babalasi)

      Noah - 2011-09-16 11:36

      go to hell and ask him,why ask us?U r stupit

      NZdreamer - 2011-09-16 11:40

      Has anyone stopped to think, a one year old baby is not children were walking by that how the hell do you breastfeed a child that size anyway while you are driving....trying to work this out??

      Antoine - 2011-09-16 13:59

      Yes, HOW was this possible? Anyway -cruel as it may be, natural selection did its gruesome work. Viva Darwin!

      adventure_girl - 2011-09-16 15:49

      Agreed with you LuLuBug, It horrifies me that people can have such little consideration for their own lives and further more still the lives of their children... My kids will be strapped to the seat kicking and screaming if they have to be... As for the Husband, if his wife was too stupid to realise that what she was dong was wrong, then it is his responsibility to take control and assure everyones safety... Thats what you do for the people you love, you keepo them safe.

      CyberDog - 2011-09-16 16:22

      @emile.eley Your ignorant comment is mind boggling, how much it lacks any intelligent thought. Some fat Cop behind a bush is only going to give speeding tickets, this will do nothing for the real problems, like lack of seat belts, poor driving skills, lack of respect for other road users, stupidity, Crap roads, lack of banisters on the roads, poorly marked roads, potholes, etc, etc ...

      ccillie - 2011-09-16 19:40

      @L_Savage: to add to your point, according to Traffic Laws, a person under the age of 12 may not occupy the front passenger's seat without being strapped into a car seat. Silly to have a toddler in the front seat never mind not being strapped in, the airbags could seriously hurt kids of that size as the force and velocity at which those airbags project seriously hurt adults and children just aren't sturdy enough to withstand that kind of force

      ttrevenen - 2011-09-16 22:22

      While its incredibly sad that an entire family was wiped out in this sensless "accident", its even sadder that an inocent women travelling on the bus has lost her legs through the stupidty of two parents. I can't tell you how many time's I've had words with family members who insist on driving with their toddlers and small children unrestrained and sitting on the front seat. I think it's high time that parents who do this be charged for child neglect.

      RACINGCAT - 2011-09-17 16:01

      In 1966 Safety belts were fitted to cars as standard equipment. My father had just cultivated a belts on habit two weeks after taking delivery of a new car. he was clobbered by a truck driver who jumped a red light. Took the front off the car and the drivers door opened. My father would have been out of the car And under the truck but for the belt...a simple good habit saved him.....Died of natural causes 2005 at 84...

  • Buzz - 2011-09-15 22:37

    How the hell do you breastfeed while driving? Insane.

      Singularity - 2011-09-15 23:42

      Thats what I am wondering too ...

      sc? - 2011-09-16 07:02

      @warslat - your name should be wanker!

      Stoutgat - 2011-09-16 07:07

      Darwin Award stuff except it's a pity that the stupid cow had to kill other people too.

      ariete - 2011-09-16 07:32

      I once saw a woman turning at a traffic light in Mayfair, Joburg who appeared to be either drunk or insane. It turned out that she was trying to execute a turn while breastfeeding AND TALKING ON HER CELL!!!!!

      mokgosi - 2011-09-16 08:04

      It beats me, now i've heard it all

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-16 08:46

      Ariete.....Burtfred named the mother that can Drive, breastfeed and talk on the cell phone... A SWISS ARMY WIFE!!! ROFLMAO!!!!

      Umfubi - 2011-09-16 11:01

      Yea... and the family member actually implying it made no difference because the impact would have killed them anyway. If she hadn't been breastfeeding, there probably wouldn't have been a bloody impact in the first place! This is a terrible tragedy but dammit all, if you don't take the most basic common sense responsibility for taking care of yourself and your family, what the hell can one expect?

      Warslat - 2011-09-16 22:18

      @ SC ... and yours should be prude, I see my comment has been reported and removed. Yaaaawn, I still like "breast feeding"...actually more like breast-feeling (in bed, at work, in the bushes or even driving down the road). If your dad didn't feel the same way as me, chanced are you wouldn't be around to disagree. Also note how you descend into offensive language and label me, I didn't label or offend anyone personally, try it sometime...or are you incapable.

  • NZdreamer - 2011-09-15 22:38

    For cying out loud!!!! Just how DOF can one get!! I am sorry, but I do NOT have sympathy for people who do this, but I do have sympathy for those who get injured or worse when these idiots cause a accident!!

      Paul - 2011-09-16 02:48

      the people I have sympathy with is the children, they dont know any better but suffer the consequences of their parents actions

      Taboo - 2011-09-16 07:20

      Agreed. Who in heavens name breastfeeds while driving? If thats not asking for trouble then i dont know. Why was the little boy not at the back with his father. I guess as we all sometimes think "IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME"

      DABOSS247365 - 2011-09-16 09:40

      The sadest part to the story is that of the bus driver, who did nothing wrong & is now disabled for life due to the stupidity of others. God's mercy se gat...

      moiraine - 2011-09-16 20:06

      And the poor passenger who lost both her legs has to suffer because of some idiot with no sense.

  • Daveza - 2011-09-15 22:44

    Unbelievable. It's time they made vehicles that do not start until the seat belts are connected. And people who drive with kids on their laps should be hauled out of the vehicles and taken for a trip around the trauma centre. It's really hard to be sympathetic.

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-09-16 01:06

      darwin award.

      kalabafazi - 2011-09-16 08:51

      @ Daveza - It's not the responsability of the manufacturers to ensure that the driver adheres to the laws of the road. But I understand where you're coming from.

      Tigra - 2011-09-16 09:04

      @k1dbl4ck Can't be a Darwin. One of the rules is that no innocent people must be killed. Can't say that here.

      Flee - 2011-09-16 09:39

      Its insane... The last time I reprimanded a woman in traffic for having her child standing on the front seat, I was told to butt out and that she knew what she was doing, and that I was the stupid one... OMgreatness this makes me sooo angry.. When they have a major accident and the child goes through the windscreen then they cry foul and try blame other people... It should be compulsory that all children be strapped in, in the back... Klaar.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-16 09:56

      and built in breathalizers, car will not start if seat belt not engaged, if sensors in the car pick up loose kids, or over loading, death penalty to anyone who's system is found converted or jippo'd,

      Cindy2810 - 2011-09-16 10:05

      I Agree 100% Daveza. perhaps a trip to the trauma centre will help SOME of the idiots wake up. but then again, if you don't wear a seatbelt yourself (which is the case most of the time) then you can't really try instill good traffic sense in your children hey...

      CTgirl - 2011-09-16 19:30

      I told my niece that my car doesn't start if kids are not strapped up in the back seat. She was about 4. When her brother was about the same age he wanted to sit in the front seat. Before I could say something, she said the car won't start. So yes, train them from when they are small, strap them up/get a child seat. A life is too precious. Who's the adult? But in this case....poor lady who lost her legs. That is the saddest

  • Janine - 2011-09-15 22:51

    Good grief! This is insane. How could this woman be so irresponsible? Not only did she kill her entire family but she also managed to injure other innocent people.

      Albert - 2011-09-16 08:52

      Basic question: Sure it's irresponsible but who was the witness who got out alive to say she was breastfeeding at the time? Or was this just an assumption made to pin blame? The bus driver? IF so he must have had 20/20 vision and split second brains to register the fact before the impact. In ther words, his attention was on the woman and not taking evasive action. It's a sad story. The mere fact that the driver had a bare torso means nothing. in many accidents, clothes are ripped off the victims.

      rustler - 2011-09-16 09:15

      @Albert "Paramedics removed baby Miné's body from the breast of her mother Eunice Franklin,29, in the driver's seat of the family’s car. "

      Janine - 2011-09-16 09:16

      The baby was still attached to its mother's breast after the accident. That was in one of the reports.

  • Sit-hole - 2011-09-15 22:52

    Root cause "apparently breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter while driving the car" Eunice Franklin = stupid, should know better. Mark stupid A whole for letting Eunice Franklin drive while breastfeeding.A woman who lost her legs & your own 2 children because of what you did. My condolences to the victims only.

      OllieMor - 2011-09-16 07:41

      The TRUE victims. I can not get the thought of this little boy that was decapitated out of my head.

  • Snotty - 2011-09-15 22:56


      brinjal - 2011-09-16 07:09

      Oh, your reasoning is women are inferior drivers at that particular hour of the day, that could be regarded as sexist, ask Gareth Cliff!

      Wouter Louw - 2011-09-16 08:01

      @brinjal, I don't think this is meant as sexist. If the mother HAD to feed her child at that hour it would have been a much safer option to have another adult behind the driver's seat! If the husband was not able to drive, the mother should not feed the child while driving! Simple logic! I think your comment is way out of line, and YOU are the sexist here!

      daaivark - 2011-09-16 08:14

      What an absurd notion, Snotty.

      Lekabisto - 2011-09-16 08:17

      I concur Wouter, what the mothe did was insane, if the father could not drive, she should not have been breastfed while driving, the baby would not have died from not feeding till she finished driving, ahh well too late now.......

      Mark Singh - 2011-09-16 08:30

      brinjal, in this case the driver was just plain stupid. TRying to be a show-off doesnt work in traffic

      caleb69 - 2011-09-16 09:31

      @brinjal, well duh....Gareth wins this one and you ask why, she was driving and breastfeeding but you only read driving, eish it must be hard for you...

      Riëtte - 2011-09-16 09:50

      @ brinjal, this is not about a woman being an inferior driver, it's about a mother who was driving and breastfeeding! Get a life you would you!

      Kenno - 2011-09-16 11:46

      Did you ever consider that MAYBE he cannot drive?

      moiraine - 2011-09-16 20:10

      Brinjal, get a life, dont jump to conclusions. Nobody is able to drive whilst breastfeeding, certainly not safely. Clearly that was proved. If the man had had any sensse he would have insisted on driving or stopping off somewhere so the women could breastfeed. Especially on a road where there have been 8 accidents in 15 days!

  • Bill - 2011-09-15 22:57

    I n c r e d i b l e...!

  • B_M_S - 2011-09-15 22:59

    It is easy to throw comments around now - so typical South African. Anybody can make a mistake and unfortunately some pay with there life for it. Have a heart........just once before opening your mouth!

      Mystre - 2011-09-15 23:39

      Its difficult to "have a heart" for parents who act irresponsibly? Yes, people don't think things like this could happen to them, but driving at 5:30 in the morning- nay, driving at any time of day, a person should not be distracted by anything.

      Singularity - 2011-09-15 23:47

      Commentary has nothing to do with the country ... open your eyes a little and note that the "mistake" has left a person who was "normal" now a paraplegic, killed off their own children and injured others ... how could you possibly "have a heart" at such blatant stupidity?? There is no education required to know that a mother who needs to breast feed is not to be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. It is about time people wake up and realize that as comfortable as a car is, it is not the bedroom or lounge!

      Deon - 2011-09-15 23:57

      No it is NOT about throwing of comments, it is about taking responsibility while driving - we do not care aboUt robots, stopstreets,using cellphone while driving WE SOUTH AFRICANS DO NOT RESPECT THE TRAFFIC LAWS!One simple decision (maybe 2) and how much damage is done - death, amputations THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE under any circumstances!

      Snoopy88 - 2011-09-16 00:22

      No... how about you have a heart when it matters? How about we all start a campaign to speak up when we see people doing these STUPID things and risking the lives of their kids? Is it too much to ask that we learn from this? I am beside myself with anguish... How about we make a stand now for little Bradley and Miné?

      mathilda_w - 2011-09-16 00:39

      No NO NO NO NO B_M_S!!! Not in a million years can there be any excuse for what this mother did. It's not typical SA'an to make comments about this, it is utterly necessary that there is an outcry as big as the univere about SA'ans not using car seats and seat belts for their children, and as for this woman who "made a mistake".....she wiped out her entire family and injured other people.

      Roman Moroni - 2011-09-16 04:28

      Amazing how everybody now criticizes but how many of you "skip" stop streets, speak on your phone while driving (or text), or the old South African favourite - exceed the speed limit and expect people to pull over into the yellow line regardless of the traffic conditions when you approach from behind. South Africans do not have respect for any laws, nevermind the road rules.

      Enigma07 - 2011-09-16 09:21

      There is a thing called common sense which money can't buy and mistakes can cost lives and legs as in this case. Nothing about being typically South African and if you lost your legs or a family member would you be so forgiving?

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-09-16 10:35

      so stupidity must be rewarded... If she died alone, it wouldn't be so bad !

      Umfubi - 2011-09-16 11:07

      @B_M_S: This was not a mistake - it was criminal negligence.

  • Saige - 2011-09-15 23:05

    Surely there must've been an exceptional circumstance that led to the father sitting at the back of the car while the mother was driving and breastfeeding at the same time? Could there have been a medical emergency with the dad at the back? I suppose we'll never know but it's so sad. So unnecessary. My heart goes out to their family members and also to the lady that has suffered such traumatic injuries.

      Denise - 2011-09-16 05:27

      I am sure that even if there was some kind of emergency it was not necessary to breastfeed while driving!!!! I did not think I could be suprised anymore by how stupid people are when they drive but apparently I can.

      Lacri - 2011-09-16 11:08

      There may well have been an emergency but it was in no circumstances necessary to breastfeed the child while driving. Even a tiny infant won't suffer lasting harm if it has to wait an hour or two for a feed (in a true emergency), let alone a a child of this age (can't remember exactly, but over one year old). In fact a child of one is more than capable of feeding himself from a cup or a bottle (not that I would ever permit my one year old to eat or drink while the car was in motion, because of the choking risk).

      Reg - 2011-09-16 16:20

      Early hours of the morning he may have been drinking and sensibly allowed his wife to drive,she was not sensible to breast feed.

      moiraine - 2011-09-16 20:13

      No 1 year old has died whilst waiting a while for a safe place to be breastfed. Yes there can be exceptional circumstances for him not driving. But I can really find no circumstances for her breastfeeding and driving. As you say it is awful for those left behind especially for the lady who lost both her limbs.

  • FpeT - 2011-09-15 23:07

    "Mark was so dependent on his wife and children." She said the family had heard that Eunice was breastfeeding Miné while driving, but she believes that "with that impact, it wouldn’t have made a difference. They would have died in any case" - Seriously? If she wasn't breastfeeding or her husband was driving the driver wouldn't have lost control of the car and swerved in front of the bus!!!

      mathilda_w - 2011-09-16 00:42

      I agree, the family member's comment has no place at all. There would not have been an accident in the first place. Even if the mother had to drive because the dad was sick, why leave a three year old boy in the front seat??? Insane and ILLEGAL! And nursing a baby while driving? Insane! If the baby was hungry, she would have survived a few minutes or even an hour until they could stop and safely feed her. NO EXCUSES for this accident.

      tokoziza - 2011-09-16 11:05

      So totally agree ... let me add to ... the driver wouldn't have lost control and swerved in front of the bus ... the innocent bus driver would still have her legs, the other injured people would not have been traumatized by the stupidity of this woman's senseless actions, and the family certainly would not have "died in any case". Sincerest condolences to the completely innocent victims of this senseless tragedy.

  • deejojo - 2011-09-15 23:11

    Maybe dad was out drunk, mom and kids came to pick him up? just a thought.......

      NZdreamer - 2011-09-15 23:38

      maybe deejojo....but then Mom must have been plastered to let her child sit in the front seat without a seatbelt and breastfeed her other child......if they were in their pj's then maybe your theory is correct. Still, a damn selfish thing to do......this must be one of the most insane stories I have read in ages....condolences to the victims, they SO did not deserve this, so very unfair!!

      Singularity - 2011-09-15 23:48

      Drunk at 5am?

      mathilda_w - 2011-09-16 00:43

      Who cares if the dad was drunk??? Was that an excuse to let a defenseless three year old sit unbuckled in the front seat??

  • frankm - 2011-09-15 23:30

    This has to be most stupid thing I have ever heard. My sympathy goes to the woman who has lost her legs, it is too late for the children and the father. This is actually mind boggling. It is considered unsafe to drive and talk on a cell phone, but to breastfeed whilst driving, that is just pure stupidity. Why on earth did she not pull to the side of the road and feed the infant before driving on?

  • herbina - 2011-09-15 23:40

    Unbelievable that someone can be so stupid - pull of the road if you have to breastfeed and you are the driver! Not only is their whole family wiped out but innocent people are maimed because of someone else's stupidity! Shame on you!

  • Susan_Kanada - 2011-09-15 23:42

    I disagree with the family member that the fact the mom was breastfeeding while driving was irrelevant, because "with that impact, it made no difference". It made ALL the difference. Had she not been breastfeeding, she probably would not have lost control of the car, and there would not have BEEN an impact to begin with! Now 4 people are dead and another has no legs! This is horrifying, even more so because it was completely avoidable! I have to admit 15 years ago when my son was just a newborn, we would sometimes transport him in a little carry cot in the back seat without a seatbelt on, especially if he was sleeping, but even then it was dangerous, and you just can't do it anymore!!. And certainly I would have never dreamt of breastfeeding him while driving. Honestly, it's hard to handle a cellphone while driving, let alone a baby!!- Sad to say, but had this woman driver lived, she would have been guilty of culpable homicide in the deaths of the rest of her family members. Be that as it may, she paid the ultimate price, and my condolences to the family

      RACINGCAT - 2011-09-17 16:09

      While making a turn yesterday a book on the dashboard slid along the dashboard and actually jammed the steering wheel while I was turning it. Scary ....not the books fault...

  • BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-09-15 23:46

    As terribly irresponsible as this is, before commenting perhaps take a minute and have a look at Eunice Franklin's Facebook page to put a face to a statistic. The fact of the matter is that yesterday she was posting news and upbeat stories about her family - and today they're all dead. Life is short and throws us vicious curveballs. It could have been you. It could have been me. May they rest in peace, and wishing the lady who was injured lots of strength.

      Mystre - 2011-09-15 23:55

      This was no curveball. Since this is baseball jargon. Eunice's foot was outside the box when she took her swing. I have a heart. But I have a brain as well, and in that scenario, if my baby was young enough to still be breast feeding, I would not let my wife drive the vehicle.

      Marc - 2011-09-16 00:08

      BrixtonBC - no, reading the story, it wouldn't have been me and I hope it wouldn't have been you. And life may arguably be short against the limitless backdrop of eternity, but it's still the longest thing you're ever going to do.

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-09-16 00:10

      Whatever dude. They made a very stupid decision, which resulted in harm to another person and them paying the ultimate price. In hindsight all vision is 20/20. If you want to crucify them further in an anonymous forum instead of feeling thankful that this article wasn't written about someone you cared about - then so be it. Go look at her is too short to go through it being bitter and angry.

      Mystre - 2011-09-16 01:40

      P.S If you want bitter and angry (can even throw in a heartless for you) refer to the comment directly below mine as well as Marc's comment. There are 2 prime examples of sad human beings for you.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-09-16 08:04

      Nicely said BrixtonBriefcase - insulting the dead woman doesn't change anything. Standing up for what's right and risking humiliation (and possibly being given the finger for your efforts )the next time yous see someone being an imbecile behind the wheel might make a difference. Who knows maybe what you say or do will save a life?

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-09-16 11:04

      So Marc, it couldn't have been you? There's no way you could have been involved in an accident? Have a stroke or heart attack behind the wheel? Perhaps kill yourself and someone else whilst checking out an sms? Have you ever traveled to the corner shop with your dog in the car with you? I have. If you haven't - then good on you. Making responsible decisions is all good and well - but I can bet you that in the moment this woman also thought that it wouldn't happen to her.

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-09-15 23:56

    OMG... I have a 1 year old little girl and a 3 year old boy.. And today I saw a father in an expensive car drive into a private school yard with his little boy standing inbetween the seats. I wanted to get out and asked him if he loved his little boy enough to buy him a car seat. Please traffic officials, can't you guys arrest these parents on the spot?? Can I do a citizen's arrest??

      Banned - 2011-09-16 02:21

      Would you have done the same if it was a cheap car? And yes you can make a note of the number plate and report it to child welfare.

      Konsoomer - 2011-09-16 06:08

      I tried to suggest that the kids at least sit at the back and got the finger and was told to mind my own business.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-09-16 07:43

      At Banned - of course. My point was that it wasn't like he couldn't afford one. I know they are expensive, especially with multiple seats needed as children grown but still. A secondhand one is better than the alternative.

  • Man can do - 2011-09-16 00:06

    How many people making comments here use their cellphones while driving? Same thing - concentration level drops, plus you are not in full control of the vehicle? Sad state of affairs.

      JDW - 2011-09-16 07:14

      I agree but that is only one part, the main point is that no kid should ever be in front of a Car, on somebodys lap or unstrapped. Whether that would have made a difference in this case does not amtter at least they would have had a chance where in this case they had none.

      ALISON - 2011-09-16 09:41

      i agree, i am sick of seeing people on their cell phones while driving. i have started hooting and flashing my lights at them when i see it. maybe if more people started doing that these criminals would stop endangering other peoples lives just because they can't wait 10 minutes to call someone.

  • G-MAN1 - 2011-09-16 00:31

    I went to so many accidents where so many died unnecessary and I know I did my best, but when our own family do such stupid things such as this, then what do we expect. seat belts are proven to save lives, it saved my dad, unfortunately it didn't save my gran, by the way my dad is now a cripple, it saved my life whilst responding to a cardiac arrest,..... why are us as the minority not protecting ourselves!!!!!!!!!

  • NZdreamer - 2011-09-16 00:40

    .......saw a Oprah show on one STUPID woman, who steers with her knees, whilst texting!! She actually admitted, it's wrong, but will she stop?? No, not unless she too kills an innocent person/s This day and age, a lot of folk are in such a, and whoooo, slow down - life is way too short, especially regarding a senseless deed that could have been avoided, and wiping other human beings off the face of the earth. I feel heart broken at the fact, that through this mothers stupidity, she has take the life of her kids.....their lives had only just began. RIP LITTLE ONES!! So innocent and trusting, what a terrible event!

  • raymond - 2011-09-16 01:23

    There are thousands of questions to be asked around this. Why was the father not driving? Why did she not pull off the road to feed the child? Where were the family going that time of the morning? So we can carry on and on. Many SA drivers are guilty of doing other things while driving. Look at them on the highways in the mornings, reading the paper, putting on make-up while driving. ALL VERY IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR. When will the people learn? WHEN IT IS TOO LATE.

  • mtdsl55 - 2011-09-16 01:27

    Does anyone really know that she was breastfeeding before the incident. I smell a rat...

      Banned - 2011-09-16 02:23

      Learn to read before posting : Paramedics removed baby Miné's body from the breast of her mother Eunice Franklin,29, in the driver's seat of the family’s car.

      Lee - 2011-09-16 10:29

      its fishy, yesterday they said te 3yr old toddler was at the back, today he was infront o.O Breastrfeeding while driving - i do not believe this, im sorry. Why was this not mentioned yesterday???

      Lee - 2011-09-16 10:40

      @ Banned, if this was the case, why was this not mentioned yesterday??? Wen they actually removed the bodies from the vehicle? Dont always belive what you read!!

      Clive - 2011-09-16 11:29

      Actually Lee, it WAS mentioned yesterday by the TV news stations. Perhaps you thought that white people couldn't be so stupid. Whenever I collect my grandchildren from school, it horrifies me how many parents - almost all white - bundle their kids in the car and drive off with them not buckled in, even though some mothers buckle up.

  • mtdsl55 - 2011-09-16 01:32

    OK - so who is the genius that said she was breast feeding??? How on earth could any one know this after the crash??? huh? the car was demolished... the kids could have been anywhere in the car, same with the parents!

      Banned - 2011-09-16 02:23

      Learn to read before posting : Paramedics removed baby Miné's body from the breast of her mother Eunice Franklin,29, in the driver's seat of the family’s car.

      sa4all - 2011-09-16 07:43

      it's possible she was not breastfeeding....the bus driver lost control and smashed into the little corsa and dragged it with kids flying all over the place....mother holds on to the child so he wont fly out the window.....after the accident someone places beer bottle on the car seat...

      DABOSS247365 - 2011-09-16 09:39

      @sa4all, WTF are you on about???

      Lee - 2011-09-16 10:41

      couldnt agree more, there is no was that they had to remove her from her breast, does not make sense at all!

      L_Savage - 2011-09-16 11:17

      Based on what the article says she most likely had the seatbelt over both herself and the infant, meaning the infant was crushed between her mother and the seatbelt. It is impossible for any human adult to hold on to an unrestrained child during a head-on collision even at moderate speeds.

      Feds - 2011-09-16 16:12

      To be honest, the thought also crossed my mind. I have seen incidences where the people in the front and the back have actually swopped places during the accident. It is rare but it does happen. It is possible (although highly unlikely) that the father was in the passenger seat and the three year old in the back. Its very unlikely and I dont believe it to be the case.... but it has happened before.

  • TheDodgyRog - 2011-09-16 01:34

    I can only assume the drivers intention was to kill her entire family and injure innocent others. There can be no worthy reason to do what she did.

      NZdreamer - 2011-09-16 01:45 suicide?? Some very tragic family stories turn out to be done with intent...for reasons we do not and may never know?

      grant9 - 2011-09-16 11:19

      That thought crossed my mind...

  • oubok - 2011-09-16 02:17

    the comments on this page are sick. four humans are dead in a motor accident and most of you say they deserved it. vengeful sanctimonious little minds!

      Banned - 2011-09-16 02:31

      Our sympathies are with the lady who will be legless for the rest of her life, she is the victim here

      NZdreamer - 2011-09-16 03:27

      @ OUBOK - Okay, lets, if that was you on that bus, sitting innocently going about your daily routine, and that happened TO YOU?? What would you think?? Suddenly, no legs? Hey?? If that poor, poor innocent lady who lost her legs due to a stupid, stupid careless Mother driving while feeding her baby was your Mother/Sister/Granny - hey...come on, how would you feel????? Believe me, you have this 'holier- than- thou' attitude, but if the shoe was on the other foot, you too would have a very vengeful, sanctimonious little mind!!! And I do not care how many 'thumbs downs' I get for posting this......but you really need to wake up! Put yourself in the 'innocent' victims shoes, oh, sorry...wait, she can not longer wear shoes....!!!!!!!

      x - 2011-09-16 08:17

      Get over yourself.

      WITBUL - 2011-09-16 11:04

      @ NZdreamer, Yes it was a stupid thing to do, but so is smoking in a car or talking on a cellphone. Are you going to sit there with YOUR "holier-than-thou" attitude and say that you have NEVER answered your phone whilst driving a car, because if you have then you are just lucky you did not kill someone at that point. So yes the parents of that family did something stupid, but I drive past tons of people everyday that smoke/drink/eat/make phone calls while driving that act in the same moronic way. And I do exactly the same, so you must be one amazing person to pass judgement like that.

  • AJ2 - 2011-09-16 02:49

    Unfortunately for the cops (and us), speed detection devices (the sole method of policing used on the roads in SA) dont pick up any other transgressions other than speed, such as unrestrained children and adults.

  • mabsie - 2011-09-16 03:09

    I breast fed my kids and I really find it ridiculous she did it whilst driving!!! No wonder she wiped her family out. Its careless, thoughtless and a very tragic accident that could have been avoided. Ai tog......

  • Rudi Kay - 2011-09-16 04:32

    How absolutely stupid! Words fail me completely.

  • jicksaw1 - 2011-09-16 04:42

    It could be that she was n't breastfeeding, it happened after the accident before they die,it happens due to confusion, pain, etc. I have seen people do weird things after accidents, believe me! I cannot believe any man can allow such a thing, two kids in front seat,the other breastfeeding, while the mother driving and him sitting at back!!!

  • Maddi - 2011-09-16 05:24

    In the UK it is ILLEGAL to have an unrestrained child in a vehicle, about time the same applied here...although one would think it was common sense!

      Irvine - 2011-09-16 07:53

      Of course it's illegal here too.....we're in SA, where the LAW is meaningless, as it is rarely enforced. Traffic often do you see them and when you DO, they're either asleep in their cars under a bridge or keeping company to a camera, aimed catch the poor sod doing 72km/h instead of 60.

      Peter Potgieter - 2011-09-16 07:59

      THe rule is in SA. Shildren under 12 are not allowed to sit in front if there are seatbelts in the back. If there are no seatbelts in the back seat the child has to be seated in the front so that they can be buckled up. Unfortunately they police are to warried about pulling cars over to check for drivers licences and un roadworthy vehicles to stop accidents from happening. Like the policeman said they were pulling over all the putco buses 20 were unroadworthy... he said the policeman can be there to enofrce the law but they can't be inside every car..... so true

      Chris - 2011-09-16 09:16

      this is not civil UK this is wild wild SOUTH africa...but yes, common sense would have worked. just a stop on the side of the road - or to get the man to drive whould have just maybe spared us from reading such an horrible accident.

  • NO MORE - 2011-09-16 05:27

    ." She said the family had heard that Eunice was breastfeeding Miné while driving, but she believes that "with that impact, it wouldn’t have made a difference. They would have died in any case." WTF? Its because of the breastfeeding that they all died! Insane totally insane!

      Rellebel - 2011-09-16 07:20

      it is because she was driving with a toddler on her lap.... I see too many people driving with kids on their laps, and it is just plain dangerous, breastfeeding or not!

      Hope-101 - 2011-09-16 07:35

      @ No More: Are you dumb? Her attention was not on the road and may this end the multi-tasking debate!!

      Irvine - 2011-09-16 07:54

      @Hope-101 ....ummm, that is the very point NO MORE is making.

      Colin - 2011-09-16 09:34

      Ai tog..Hope 101, there is no hope for you hey.

  • Briony - 2011-09-16 05:39

    Well done South Africa, we are officially a country of Idiots and retards....Im shocked!!! Im dumbfounded that a mother would think to breastfeed whilst operating a vehicle when everyone knows two hands on the wheel at all times... LAWS and RULES are there to protect us from Retarded people like this... Be wise people... What out for IDIOTS next to you!

  • Dumisani Mdumaya Mhlophe - 2011-09-16 05:53

    Well I feel for the two kids and the lady who lost her legs, I though I've seen bad drivers but this takes the cake. Drove while speaking on a phone and crashed luckily noone was hurt, but driving with a baby? I smell suicide

  • Fortune - 2011-09-16 05:57

    When it happens we all wonder why, bu the fact of the matter is 70% of drivers licences are bought i SA, if there is anyone to blame, i would place it on the government for letting this to happen, i know of the pass one pass all driving schools, and the staan kyk, just some of the terminology used by our driving schools and their cronies (testing officials), this is just the begin, this roads are becoming so deadly by the day. Although it is being said that the mother was brestfeeding at the time of the accident, it is very unfortunate, nonetheless i have personaly driven on that road and i know how those bus drivers behave on the road, they have no regard for road laws and most of them are on the road as early as 3h30am, and you hardly see any cops on the road.

  • Trevor - 2011-09-16 06:23

    My heart goes out to the Paramedics and Emergency personel who had to work the HELLUVA sight to see...

  • Rocketman - 2011-09-16 06:30

    Darwin Awards honorary mention.

  • Danie - 2011-09-16 06:35

    Who actually saw that the Mother was breastfeeding, something does not add up here.. Putco probably trying to blameshift here, cause there drivers cannot drive or know the laws of the road..

      Janine - 2011-09-16 09:24

      If you read all the reports one of them states that the paramedics removed the baby from the mother's breast at the scene.

  • Ace - 2011-09-16 06:43

    Alta de Villiers, your words "...Eunice would never have been able to live without her children." makes me boil inside. Maybe she should have lived for even just one day to realise that her stupid actions cost the lives of other people and someones their legs!!! You also said that when you heard that Eunice was breastfeeding Miné while driving, you believe it wouldn’t have made a difference, because with that impact, they would have died in any case. WTF!!! woman.....she lost control of the car she was driving, because she was being STUPID!!! Dear God, please be with the families of the people who were traveling in the bus and the lady who lost her leg. Please forgive Eunice Franklin for her actions. Please keep your hand over everone traveling on the roads and make people realise when they're being stupid. Amen

      Jandieman - 2011-09-16 07:13

      Ace, You're just about the only one on this site who actually prayed for the families and for forgiveness. Good for you. We all do stupid things at times in our lives. Sometimes we think it wont ever happen to us, we are invincible. We need to accept that we are human, and make stupid mistakes, but who are we to judge others. The price for Eunice's mistake was her whole family's lives. May we never pay such a price for our mistakes.

  • Daddy - 2011-09-16 06:44

    It is such a shame that the children die due to our negligence. People get so used to doing stunts like this while driving, texting, applying make up etc. etc. Children must be protected.

  • Michael - 2011-09-16 06:47

    This is so tragic, 2 young lives gone, another maimed. STUPID STUPID STUPID. I have seen people drive past my house with 2 little ones in a venter trailer, another lady had her young son sitting on the boot of her car, have seen another guy with his child asleep on his lap while he drove. Now if anything had to happen to them they would be saying "but why, how can this happen??". People need to start taking accountability for their actions and be responsible.

  • nicci.eaglestone - 2011-09-16 06:48

    Oh Come on!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! EVERYONE in the car should be buckled up at all times... the stupid attitude of "oh it won't happen to me", it just that STUPID!! This should never have happened... So so silly!!

  • My Father - 2011-09-16 06:51

    Are you feeling sympathy to them? Why people never learn? Through the process of elimination in human evolution, I hope better driving standard in our next generation. Also, men deserve a cheaper insurance because we can not breastfeeding.

  • Prof - 2011-09-16 06:52

    Impossible, breastfeeding while driving? no ways...

  • justice_seeker - 2011-09-16 06:54

    I have a question - I have purchased a car seat for when my 9 month granddaughter drives with me. In my opinion it is safer to secure the seat in the middle of my car back - seat as a side impact could injure her ? The car I drive has three seatbealts in the back, and the seat is very securely buckled in. Is this ok or not ? I would really appreciate some guidance ?

      PinkSparkle - 2011-09-16 09:34

      Hi there, I have my car seat buckled in the middle, as I also reasoned that side impact can do as much damage as having it in the front seat. The straps will prevent her from being flung from the seat and being in the middle should minimize saftey from side impact.

      Lacri - 2011-09-16 11:16

      Not sure what the stats say. I would think that the baby would be safer from a side-impact, but I understand that the most dangerous ones are frontal accidents. In a frontal accident the front seat helps to shield the baby from flying debris. Obviously a rear-facing car seat also helps with this, but if your granddaughter is 9 months old then you probably bought her a forward-facing seat which means she would be unshielded.

      justice_seeker - 2011-09-16 11:50

      Thanks PinkSparkle and Lacri 0:) I am going to look further into this. Perhaps I am a silly old granny but I want to do the best I can.

  • Vernon - 2011-09-16 07:01

    no words.

  • sadiemy - 2011-09-16 07:03

    I can guess how this happened. Mom was driving dad to work, or picking him up from the airport or dad did not have licence or was hung over. Baby started screaming because she was hungry. Dad passes baby to mom. Jealous toddler had a tantrum because he wanted to sit in front with mom. Parents give in. Everyone distracted. Everyone dead

      TrulyGoode - 2011-09-16 11:17

      Ah ha! Someone who actually surmises what went on in the vehicle prior to a wholly horrific accident. Has anyone thought that maybe the father was ill and having to be driven to where ever... The only people that could really answer this question are now dead. God care for them all. And to the lady who will suffer for the rest of her life, may God comfort and protect you.

  • mac-d - 2011-09-16 07:05


  • theelderz - 2011-09-16 07:10

    l want to knw hw seat belts cld hve saved them becoz thr whle rooftop was removed or is it crashed in so you cldnt see it.

  • JDW - 2011-09-16 07:11

    To have kids on the front seat or to hold kids on the front seat should e a 0 Tolerance offence meanining immediate arrest NO Fine. Parents that does that use their Kids as Air bags they do not stand a chance and parents that allow that is not fit to look after their kids. How can anybody in their right mind allow kids unstrapped in the front seat and No 3 year old should be in the front seat ever. I am not even going to talk about a 1 Year old being breast fed this is very sad and should never have happened.

  • Xian Brookes - 2011-09-16 07:13

    I have a family member who doesn't bother strapping his 2 year old daughter into her car seat - it's bothered me for a long time, but this horrible event (not sure I can call it an "accident") has really spurred me to action, I've confronted him about it in a big way. I'd encourage others to do the same - buckle up your kids, buckle up yourself! A kid throwing a tantrum for 5 minutes after being strapped into a car seat is WAY better than the kid being dead. If you're a parent - act like one!

      moiraine - 2011-09-16 20:24

      Sadly Xian I once nursed a child who was thrown through the front window in a car. He was 4 years old and was in the front seat. His father was driving and his mother and granny in the back. Both he and his father nearly died. When his mom/granny was asked if she would keep him in the back in future they replied: "no, he doesnt like it there"