Fun day ends in death crash

2011-05-17 00:00

EARLY in May, Pietermaritzburger Joseph Howe registered as a paramedic. His Facebook status read, “Off to PTA to get registered as a paramedic, oh yeah! Now life starts for real!”

He had no way of knowing that two weeks later, his world would be turned upside down. On Saturday night, his attractive girlfriend died after a fun-filled day at the Pecanwood Pig and Beer Fest near Howick.

Lindsay Sutton (21) died when her car overturned on the D292 dirt road as she was returning from the festival.

Motorist Cliff Bennet, who was driving behind Sutton, said the accident happened on a sharp curve in the road.

“I saw her lights in front of me, but as I came around the corner, I couldn’t see her lights on the road.”

He then saw the car lying on its side.

He found Sutton near her vehicle, and she appeared to have been killed instantly.

Jared Wilson, events co-ordinator at Pecanwood, said, “I got a phone call from someone who had passed the accident to say that they had seen a car turned over. I deployed our ambulance that was on site and they were there in minutes.”

Wilson supplied a report from the ambulance driver at the scene which said, “She lost control about three kilometres from the event … and sustained head and neck injuries. She was alone, and incident happened at +/- 23:30.”

Sutton was outgoing and always smiling, according to her best friend, Angie Viljoen.

She described the former Varsity College student as always on the go. “She always made people laugh,” said Viljoen.

Sutton completed a course in hotel management at the end of last year, and until recently worked at Franki Bananaz in Pietermaritzburg.

Brad Grieve of Franki Bananaz said that she was liked by the customers and the people she worked with alike. “She was a good person, with a good heart,” said Grieve.

Wilson expressed sadness at hearing the news.

“We want people to know that we offer free camping because we encourage people to stay over and not drive too late … We would like to send our sympathy out to the family and friends of Lindsay,” he said.

Sutton’s family was not available for comment.

This is the second festival-goer to die this year. Craig Steynberg (23) was found in a river after Splashy Fen near Underberg over the Easter weekend. It is suspected that he drowned.

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