Experts to probe crash

2016-07-12 10:58
KZN MEC for Transport Mxolisi Kaunda (left), accompanied by uMzumbe Mayor Thembinkosi Gumede, with Thobekile Dlamini, who survived the bakkie accident.

KZN MEC for Transport Mxolisi Kaunda (left), accompanied by uMzumbe Mayor Thembinkosi Gumede, with Thobekile Dlamini, who survived the bakkie accident. (Thami Mkhulisa )

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Pietermaritzburg - A team of accident experts has been assigned to investigate the cause of the accident that killed 11 churchgoers on Sunday afternoon.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) on Monday said accident reconstruction experts would visit the scene of the crash at KwaMbotho, Harding, to investigate what happened.

A three-month-old baby and a three-year-old toddler were among those killed, while eight others, including the driver, were injured.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said there was no definite time frame given to conclude the investigation.

“We don’t want to put investigators under pressure. We just want them to do thorough work and follow all aspects that would help us know the exact cause of the accident. We are … seeking justice,” Zwane told The Witness.

He confirmed there were 19 people transported in the bakkie.

Zwane said the experts will examine the vehicle, the condition of the road, and the behaviour of the driver moments before the crash occurred to determine the exact cause of the accident.

It is believed the bakkie driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned, killing and injuring the occupants who were returning home from church.

KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda visited the site of the fatal crash and the mourning families yesterday.

Kaunda described the incident as a serious tragedy, saying more interventions were needed to maximise enforcement in rural communities.

“We wish to send our deepest condolences to all the affected families and to the Twelfth Apostolic Church,” the MEC said.

“We have directed our teams to conduct a thorough investigation, including checking if the vehicle was overloaded.

“We are concerned at the scourge of road crashes and fatalities. We will do all we can to play our part as government, but we also urge our people to take collective responsibility in ensuring the safety of all on our roads.”

• thabang.mathebula@witness.co.za

IN a media statement on Monday, the RTMC said the crash represents a major setback in the country’s effort to halve the number of road collisions and fatalities, particularly as it seems that the vehicle was overloaded.

The statement said a five-year crash analysis indicated that light delivery vehicles contribute the second highest number of fatal crashes on the roads. “Sedans and other private vehicles are the highest contributors to fatal crashes with a contribution of 46%, light delivery vehicles contribute 17%, minibuses, combis and minibus vehicles contribute nine percent, trucks contribute five percent, while buses contribute one percent and motorcycles are nine percent.”

The corporation said the three main causes that lead to fatalities on South African roads are human error, unroadworthy vehicles and environmental or road related factors.

“Human error — including driving at speeds that are too high for circumstances, driving under the influence of liquor or drugs as well as reckless and negligent driving — is the leading cause contributing to 79% of all fatal crashes, followed by environmental or road factors that include sharp bends, poor visibility, slippery surfaces and stray animals. Environmental factors contribute to 13% of crashes.” — RTMC.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accident

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