Bridge victim found at last

2013-11-23 00:00

EXACTLY six days after Lihle Mthiyane (36) went missing after his car was swept off the Woodhouse Road low-level bridge, his body surfaced at the Grimthorpe Road low-level bridge.

His death has led Msunduzi mayor Chris Ndlela, who joined in the search yesterday, to commit to building a bridge.

“We are sourcing funds to build a bridge. One more death is one more too many,” he said.

Ndlela added that in the meantime the bridge will remain closed, despite complaints from the community that it was used to bypass traffic congestion. He said the low-level bridge issue needed fast action.

“We have noticed that these incidents have occurred during the night and we understand that some people will complain when we close this bridge because they use it to avoid traffic congestion, but we are still going to widely consult on this matter,” he said.

Mthiyane’s body was found by people who live near the Grimthorpe Road low-level bridge.

Lieutenant Jack Haskins, who was part of the search, said the body was found still in the water, stuck between reeds.

A resident stopped a motorist, who then alerted members of the search and rescue team.

Ndlela, who had earlier in the day joined the police, the fire department, the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue team and local people, walked for several kilometres from the low-level bridge to the Grimthorpe Road bridge in Lincoln Meade.

Ndlela said even though he had not walked such a distance in a long time, it was important for him to be part of the search to show solidarity with the Mthiyane family.

“We were not here looking for votes, but we wanted to show solidarity with our ratepayers and that we do care about what is going on in their lives,” he said.

Mthiyane was praised for his bravery by resident Zwelihle Ngcamu who said he had learned that Mthiyane had managed to save his passengers.

“He started by saving his passengers, but failed to save himself. He removed them from the car and got them to the bank of the river,” Ngcamu said.

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