Seven killed on KZN roads in rainy weekend

2016-01-25 11:30
Well-known tow-truck driver Sibusiso Makhathini died in a car crash on Saturday.

Well-known tow-truck driver Sibusiso Makhathini died in a car crash on Saturday. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Seven people died in two gruesome collisions near Pietermaritzburg this weekend during rainy weather.

A fiery collision in Thornville on Saturday night claimed the life of a well-known Pietermaritzburg tow-truck driver and two others whose names have not yet been released.

Joey’s Towing driver Sibusiso Makhathini was driving his Mini Cooper to visit a friend in Thornville on Saturday night when he collided with a BMW carrying five passengers.

The crash killed Makhathini and two women in the BMW instantly as his car burst into flames on impact.

ER24 spokesperson Paul Knoesen desribed the scene as “tragic”, saying three more people were critically injured.

Knoesen said the five passengers in the BMW were suspected to all be related.

“The fire department was on scene to extinguish the fire. The other car involved in the crash saw the driver and back seat passenger die on impact while other three passengers sustained critical injuries.”

Knoesen said two of the surviving passengers were taken to Edendale Hospital while the other patient was taken to MediClinic.

Joey’s Towing owner Joey Govender said the company was in “shock” to lose such a “well-liked and dedicated” man.

“It was his weekend off and he was driving to see a friend when the accident happened,” said Govender. “He had been working for us for 14 months.”

Makhathini’s sister, Sharon, said yesterday that the family was devastated over his sudden death.

“Sbu was sociable, reliable and a generous son, brother and father,” she said.

“He loved his children and siblings very much. The family have suffered a great loss and are battling to come to terms with the untimely and tragic end to such a beautiful person’s life.”

It was alleged by a source that the driver of the BMW, believed to be from Richmond, had recently obtained her licence. The source said the BMW she was driving was new, however, this could not be confirmed yesterday.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said the cause of the crash was still being investigated, but it was suspected that poor visibility and rainy conditions might have been to blame.

Mngomezulu said there had been another crash on Greytown Road on Friday night that had claimed the lives of four people and left two seriously injured.

She said rainy weather and poor visibility may have caused the head-on collision between the bakkie and Toyota Corolla on Friday night.

“The two passengers in the bakkie were seriously injured and they were transported to Greytown Hospital,” Mngomezulu said.

• chelsea.
pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents  |  death

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