Four hours of agony after Nottingham Road truck accident

2009-04-07 00:00

TWO men endured four hours of agony trapped inside the wreckage of a truck after it was smashed by an 18-wheeler truck transporting chickens on the R103 at Nottingham Road yesterday morning.

The jaws of life had to be used to help extricate them and two helicopters had to rush the truck driver and his assistant to hospital.

About 600 of the 1 500 chickens being transported on the truck died in the collision.

SAPS collision unit spokesman, Captain Dolf Otto, said that the driver of the chicken truck lost control of the vehicle and as it overturned, its cab landed on top of another truck travelling in the opposite direction.

He said the chicken truck was travelling towards the N3 highway, while the second truck was travelling towards Nottingham Road.

On impact, the chicken truck driver was thrown out of the cab and sustained minor injuries. He was transported by ambulance to a hospital.

The accident happened at about 6 am and the driver and his assistant in the second truck were trapped inside the cab until 10 am.

Yesterday’s accident is the latest in a series of R103 accidents involving trucks and residents have repeatedly criticised truckers who avoid the Mooi River toll plaza in order to pocket toll cash.

Nottingham Road resident and campaigner for a safer R103, Moira Grueneberg, said that the driver of the 10-ton truck had been given money to use the Mooi River toll plaza.

“It appears yet another truck driver has pocketed his employer’s money, choosing to use the dangerous R103 route. Nottingham Road is a notorious mist belt, which exacerbates unsafe driving conditions. We are still waiting to see what instructions the [National Transport Department] has given to the provincial authorities regarding restrictions of heavy truck traffic on routes not designed to carry them.”

Otto said police are investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving.

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