City crash injures 21

2010-02-06 00:00

AN ACCIDENT in Pietermaritzburg’s city centre yesterday morning saw 21 people injured when a taxi, a truck and a bakkie collided at the intersection of Alan Paton Road and Blackburrow Avenue.

According to eyewitnesses, a taxi, believed to be from Camperdown, was travelling towards the city. At the intersection of Alan Paton and Blackburrow Avenue a truck travelling towards Durban made a U-turn in Alan Paton Road and collided with the taxi.

The bakkie became a secondary accident when it collided with the vehicles as it attempted to join Alan Paton Road.

Twenty-one people were injured, with three people from the taxi seriously injured. They had to be extricated from the wreckage by fire department and paramedic personnel.

A witness at the scene said: “The robot was green for the taxi. However, the truck did a U-turn without observing, and collided with the taxi.”

The front of the taxi was smashed in and it took paramedics more than 30 minutes to free one of the passengers from the wreckage.

Derrick Banks of ER24 said that when paramedics arrived at the scene, they found all three vehicles in the intersection. Three people were trapped in the taxi and the passenger in the truck was also trapped. “Emergency personnel treated patients while the fire department used the Jaws of Life to help extricate the patients from the vehicles.

“Eighteen patients were treated for serious injuries and another three were treated for minor to moderate injuries,” said Banks.

He said all the patients were stabilised on the scene before being taken to Pietermaritzburg Medi-Clinic and surrounding provincial hospitals for further treatment.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesman Collin Govender said the accident had been caused by disregard for the rules of the road.

“From the accident scene, it seems between the driver of the taxi and the truck, one of them disregarded the traffic light.”

In another accident, an Opel Monza driver was killed yesterday when his vehicle went under a school bus.

Of the 30 children in the bus, eight were taken to hospital for trauma counselling.

On the N3 yesterday, traffic was held up as highway officials were involved in recovering a truck that had gone off the road on Wednesday due to heavy rains in the area.

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