Tourists hurt in accident

2010-07-01 12:26

Bloemfontein - One person died and four people were seriously injured, three of them Portuguese tourists, in an accident near Fouriesburg on Thursday, Free State police said.

Police spokesperson Thandi Mbambo said the accident happened on the R26 near the farm Swartfontein, about 15km from Fouriesburg, at about 06:00.

"Three Portuguese tourists driving a Ford Ranger were travelling in the direction of Fouriesburg from Bethlehem when they collided with a Colt bakkie with two males travelling from Fouriesburg to Bethlehem."

One of the men in the Colt bakkie died in hospital due to his injuries.

Mbambo said the two vehicles allegedly collided in the Colt's lane, which indicated that the driver of the Ford Ranger could have lost control and veered into the oncoming vehicle.

Police said mechanical equipment was used to remove the accident victims from the wreckages. All the victims were seriously injured and were referred to the Medi-Clinic hospital in Bethlehem.

One Portuguese victim, Tomas Antonio, 38, was later airlifted to the Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic due to the nature of his injuries.

Mbambo said Antonio and two others, Rodriques Coelho, 51, and Duarte Martins, 58, were believed to have been on their way to Bloemfontein to catch a connecting flight home.

A traffic officer and another man were in the Colt bakkie, apparently on their way to work in Bethlehem.

Police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.