Unmarked hole causes crash

2016-09-28 09:53
The hole dug by municipal workers on Cordwalles Road had no warning signs or tape alerting motorists to the excavation site.

The hole dug by municipal workers on Cordwalles Road had no warning signs or tape alerting motorists to the excavation site. (Kailene Pillay)

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A woman was admitted to hospital on Tuesday with a cracked skull after her vehicle crashed into a pile of sand left on the road by municipal workers.

The pile had been formed from soil removed from the road outside Voortrekker High School by municipal workers, who had carried out repairs on an underground water leak on Cordwalles Road.

There was no signage warning motorists of the hazard.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha apologised to motorists, saying they would “thoroughly” investigate why warning signage was not erected.

Kate Tyson, from Cordwalles Gardens, is now nursing a cracked skull at Mediclinic Hospital after crashing into the excavation site on Tuesday.

Her husband, Dean Tyson, said she left home at around 4.50 am on Tuesday and drove down Cordwalles Road towards Victoria Road, to meet fellow joggers for their morning run.

“She was driving down the road and since there are no warning signs or red tape to warn drivers there was a huge hole in the road, she drove straight into the sand bank,” Tyson said.

He said his wife’s Hyundai i10 flipped onto its side and his wife was forced to climb out through the passenger door of the vehicle.

He said paramedics attended to his wife and rushed her to hospital, where it was discovered she had a cracked skull. She was expected to remain in hospital for further assessment.

Tyson said the Msunduzi Municipality should take responsibility for the accident and injuries caused as “no warning signs were placed to warn motorists of the massive hole in the ground”.

He said the excavation site, without warning signs for motorists, also placed municipal workers at the site in danger as other motorists could have crashed into the site.

One of the first people on the scene, Kayla-Dee Knowles, said they were awoken by a “massive bang” and found the vehicle lying on its side when her family rushed outside.

“The driver climbed out of the car, but she said her arm and head were hurt.

“The tow truck drivers and some of the other neighbours managed to flip the car back on its wheels so the woman could take out her cellphone and other belongings,” Knowles said.

She said municipal workers were seen working on the road from Monday afternoon until just after midnight.

“The municipality has been digging up all over the neighbourhood, probably fixing leaking pipes,” she said.

Knowles said municipal workers dug around a tree on Roberts Road last week, which uprooted during the night and damaged the traffic lights.

There were still no warning signs or tape around the site to warn motorists of the hole when The Witness left the Cordwalles Road site at about 9.30 am on Tuesday, but it is believed the municipality later erected a warning sign in the vicinity.

Remnants of the accident, such as shattered glass and parts of Tyson’s vehicle, were still strewn across the road and tyre marks could clearly be seen on the sand bank.

Mafumbatha said the work that was being conducted could not be completed yesterday due to technical reasons.

“The site is being made safe with necessary barricaded protection, and we are currently investigating if the relevant signage was put in place,” she said.

Mafumbatha said a team had been sent to the site to ensure visible signage was erected in the area.

“We sympathise with the motorists and their families. This incident is very unfortunate and that is why we are thoroughly investigating it,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  vehicle crash

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