Another jacaranda near miss

2011-10-31 00:00

A WEEK after a motorist narrowly escaped death when the branches of a jacaranda tree fell on his moving car, a similar incident occurred, this time involving a tow truck, on West Street in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Derrick Banks of ER24 said the tree narrowly missed the driver as it fell across the road, landing on the truck and causing extensive damage to the body of the vehicle and its roof.

“The driver was slightly shaken up, but was able to walk away with no injuries,” he said.

Percy Goge, owner of Percy’s Towing said, “This is the second time that a tree has hit one of my vehicles in the city and the first time the municipality did not pay for the damages to my car, but I hope they will pay me to fix this one.”

He said he fears the jacaranda trees could kill someone if the municipality does not do anything about them.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said, “It is the right of the motorist to lay a claim in an unfortunate incident where a tree falls onto a vehicle and is damaged.

“The matter is then handed over to our legal division to establish if it was negligence on the part of the municipality or an act of nature, for example a strong wind.”

Zuma said the incident that happened on Saturday last week, when a tree fell on a car in Boom Street, was unfortunate.

“But we also want to say that one swallow does not make a summer. We can’t then allege that the municipality is full of unstable trees, and it is therefore a dangerous place,” he said.

He said the municipality is managing the trees, except for those on private property.

“Firstly, within the parks department we have a tree committee made up of the parks manager, three district horticulturalists and a councillor who is a qualified horticulturalist. Supervisors and horticulturalists report dead and offending trees,” said Zuma.

He said Msunduzi needs to invest in a full-time tree inspector and in more resources to deal with pruning and felling of trees.

He said the existing committee is an in-house entity within the parks department.

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