Girl (9) killed by car

2010-02-13 00:00

A SCHOOL pupil was knocked down by a car and killed on Manning Avenue yesterday morning as she crossed the road on her way to school.

Swaaleha Patel (9), who attends the Islamia Primary School, was on her way to the school’s sports day when she was killed.

According to Kenneth Chetty, the Msunduzi Municipality public safety manager, Swaaleha and two friends were walking on the Manning Avenue pavement when Swaaleha decided to run across the road and was knocked down.

Chetty said: “The driver tried to do everything he could to avoid hitting the child, to the extent that he swerved and ended up on the other side of the road facing the traffic.”

Despite the driver’s attempts, Swaaleha was knocked down and died at the scene.

Chetty said the traffic department raised their concerns about the presence of young children unguarded on such a busy road.

“The school principal told us that today (yesterday) was their sports day, and they had instructed the parents to drop the children at the sports ground and not bring them to the school.”

He said the principal was adamant that the children do not normally walk along the road.

Attempts to contact the school principal and the Education Department were unsuccessful.

Since May last year, a number of school children have been killed and injured in road accidents; they were either hit by drivers or died as a result of overloading.

Some of the cases last year in the midlands include: a six-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl were hit by a minibus taxi outside the Edendale Islamic school; a seven-year-old boy was killed when the taxi he was travelling in crashed; Forest Hill Primary pupil Louis Wesley (8), who was run over as he was trying to cross the road outside the school gate.

Anele Jess Ireland (6), Cebolenkosi Sithole (10) and Thembeka Mkhize (12), were killed in a horrific accident when an unroadworthy bakkie crashed on the R74 Muden road.

The driver tried to do everything he could to avoid hitting the child.


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