Couple’s lucky escape

2013-09-07 00:00

A LITTLE patience almost certainly saved the lives of Pinetown couple Jan and Carika van Zyl.

The couple are both employed by Rock Solid Industries. They had gone out for a take-away supper on Thursday night when they almost became casualties of the accident that claimed 22 lives at the intersection of Field’s Hill and Richmond Road.

Van Zyl’s company vehicle has a camera fitted to the rearview mirror, which recorded the second the truck ploughed into vehicles just in front.

The video was uploaded to YouTube and had been viewed nearly 12 000 times by last night. In the voice-over, Van Zyl says he was tempted to overtake a VW Jetta as he approached the intersection. Had he done so, he and Carika would have been in the first row of vehicles at the traffic lights — the ones mowed down by the truck.

Instead, he exercised patience and slotted behind a taxi at the red light.

The video shows the lights turning green and the first row of vehicles moving off. In the blink of an eye the truck enters the intersection and drags a number of vehicles off, including the Jetta and taxi in front, leaving only debris behind.

Fortunately for Van Zyl and his wife, he had time to see the truck’s lights approaching fast from the right and managed to avoid the collision.

Speaking to Weekend Witness yesterday, he said the accident was still fresh in his mind and he could still not believe what had happened before his eyes.

“I am just watching the news; it’s horrifying. I am so sorry for the families of the victims.

“I had attempted to change lanes ahead of the intersection and would have stopped where the green Jetta eventually stopped, but for some reason I decided not to change before the Jetta could stop.

“After the crash, it occurred to me that it could so easily have been us involved in that accident,” said Van Zyl.

The 40-year-old said the reason they had been on the road was that he had just returned from a business trip to Johannesburg, and he and Carika had decided that they would not cook supper.

Instead, they would get take-aways.

However, neither had eaten anything until late yesterday as they were still having flashbacks of the accident.

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