Fix Pecanwood death road, say residents

2011-05-18 00:00

FOLLOWING the death of a young woman on the road from Pecanwood to Howick at the weekend, local farmers have come forward to warn about the many accidents that have occurred along it.

Farmer Peter Jameson estimates that 14 accidents have taken place on the dirt road in the last three years.

He says the road is dangerous for anyone inexperienced at driving on dirt.

Other residents are concerned about a lack of signage showing the speed limit and the growing volume of traffic as more and more events are held at Pecanwood.

Jameson and other residents recounted how many accidents leave them with wrecks to clean up.

“One of the cars landed up balanced on a rock,” said a resident, and another accident left a car wedged between two trees.

Gordon Brook rolled his car three times early on Saturday night, only a few hundred metres from the accident that killed Lindsay Sutton (21). He was not injured. “I am one of the lucky ones,” said Brook.

Mark Hattingh, of the ­Umngeni Municipality planning and development department, said the road is owned and serviced by the provincial Transport Department, and the municipality has nothing to do with it.

Pecanwood events manager Jared Wilson said they have approached the roads department to have the road fixed on numerous occasions.

He said Pecanwood assessed the road both before and after an event and confirmed that the increased volume of traffic has affected the road.

Birnamwood resident Peter van Heerden said: “We are an unhappy neighbourhood because of what’s happening. We’ve now had a death and it’s made us an unhappy society.”

While life in Birnamwood may continue as usual, residents are left with the small reminders — broken glass and tyre marks — to alert them to the dangers along P367.

Zinhle Mngomezulu, the KZN Transport Department spokesperson, declined to comment.

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