SA faces a deadly Easter weekend on the roads

2014-04-18 18:36
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Johannesburg - The Easter weekend in SA got off to a deadly start with several reports of deaths on the roads as authorities warned of strict action against drivers breaking the law.

A four-year-old boy was killed in a car accident in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg on Friday, said paramedics.

He had been seated in the front passenger seat of a car when it was hit on the side by another vehicle, said Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha.

"Paramedics... arrived at the scene and found that the unrestrained child had tragically died," said Botha.

One other person suffered serious injuries.

Serious injuries

"Paramedics stabilised the patient. They transported the person to a nearby hospital for the care that they required," said Botha.

Police would investigate what led to the crash.

Three people were killed and five others injured when their Toyota Condor overturned on the R26 near Fouriesburg in the Free State on Friday, said paramedics.

All of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle as it rolled, said ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak.

"Upon assessment paramedics found that three people sustained fatal injuries," said Vermaak.

Three others were found to be critically injured while another two suffered moderate injuries.

They were treated on scene before being transported to a nearby hospital.

Threat

"The exact cause of the incident is not yet known," said Vermaak.

"It is understood from bystanders that the driver apparently lost control over the vehicle causing it to overturn."

Police were investigating.

At least 24 people have died and 48 others sustained injuries on South Africa's roads since the start of the Easter weekend, according to traffic reports and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) on Friday.

"High level investigation teams are being instituted to unearth the causal factors of these crashes," RTMC spokesperson Thato Mosena said on Friday.

Eight people died after a driver lost control of his vehicle and it caught fire on Punda Maria road near the N1 between Makhado and Thohoyandou, Mosena said.

Ten people died and five others were injured when a truck collided with a minibus on the R707 between Petrus Steyn and Lyndley in the Free State.

"Furthermore on the R34 (Newcastle) in Kwazulu-Natal, a truck driver lost control of his vehicle and it overturned resulting in 17 injuries," she said.

Mosena said unroadworthy vehicles would be removed and impounded.

"If you don't have a valid driver's licence, you will spend time in jail."

The SABC reported that traffic volumes have begun decreasing on main routes through the Free State as thousands of holidaymakers headed for their Easter weekend destinations.

The traffic count was about 800 vehicles an hour at 12:00 on the N1 north of Bloemfontein.

In earlier reports, five people died and 12 others were seriously injured on Friday morning in a minibus accident on a road between Muden and Weenen near Greytown, Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert McKenzie said.

The taxi is thought to have been travelling from Johannesburg to Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

A 47-year-old biker died in a collision with a car at the intersection of Bluff Road and Whitehouse Road in Durban at about 05:00, Rescue Care spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said.
- SAPA
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