Car thief now faces culpable homicide charge

2014-01-09 00:00

MEMBERS of the K9 (dog) Unit patrolling the streets of Morningside, got more than they bargained for when a suspicious-looking car they tried to flag down came to a crashing stop … against a minibus taxi.

A charge of culpable homicide will now be added to that of car theft when the injured suspect is released from hospital, after one of the passengers in the taxi died early yesterday morning.

The suspect has been linked to numerous other car theft incidents in the area.

On Tuesday, at approximately 10 pm, the police members noticed a suspicious-looking grey Toyota Yaris driving around in the Morningside area. The members tried to stop it but the driver sped off.

A chase ensued and in the driver’s hurry to get away, he crashed into a taxi at the corner of King Dinuzulu (Berea) and Stephen Dlamini (Essenwood) roads, police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said.

The driver of the Yaris as well as six passengers in the taxi were injured and taken to hospital, although the suspect had an extra entourage as he left under police guard.

One of the passengers succumbed to the injuries sustained, while the other five remain in a critical condition.

In another blow, the suspect is now also being investigated for links to at least 12 cases of vehicle theft in the Berea and Umbilo areas.

He will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court facing theft of motor vehicle charges as well as culpable homicide once he is discharged from hospital.

In the meantime, when police circulated details about the Yaris, they found it was reported stolen in the Berea area on January 7.

According to Zwane, the victim parked his car at about 6.30 pm, with the vehicle properly locked and all windows closed. When he returned at about 9.30 pm, he found that the car was gone, and reported the theft to the Berea police station.

ER24 Durban paramedic Kyle van Reenen yesterday said they arrived at the busy intersection to find the minibus taxi overturned and on its side.

The injured occupants of the vehicles were treated on scene by paramedics and advanced life support intervention was initiated on a man in his late twenties who had sustained critical chest injuries.

He was transported to hospital, but died yesterday at approximately 3 am.

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